GMA News Online breaks own record with 21 million page views on May 14 ~ Pinoy Media

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

GMA News Online breaks own record with 21 million page views on May 14


After months of preparation, the election-day coverage of GMA News Online almost ended in disaster. The weekend before the election, the website came under heavy cyberattack intended to bring it down.

From last-minute tweaking of its election-count pages, GMA News' technical team switched its attention to defending the website, playing a cat-and-mouse game with the attackers using redirect maneuvers.

On May 13, anxiety pervaded the website's newsroom as the staff began covering the most crucial day in a democracy.

As voting day proceeded, reports of PCOS machine malfunctions streamed in and GMA's own precinct finder that was connected to Comelec's database was spotty, which seemed like omens of a bad day for technology.

But the website stayed up and as the first election results came in at night, users discovered the website's main edge over its competition – a specially designed search engine that could take a user to any candidate's name or any town in the Philippines in less than a second.

When online traffic data came in a day later, GMA News Online topped Philippine web rankings with 9.4 million page views on May 13. According to industry metrics source Effective Measure, GMA News Online had a lead of 6 million page views over the second-ranked website abs-cbnnews.com, which totaled 3.1 million page views on election day.

GMA News Online more than doubled its numbers the next day, May 14, with 21 million page views, breaking its own record of 12 million page views set a day after the May 10, 2010 elections. Its 21 million PVs was 16 million more than the second-place abs-cbnnews.com.

With more news websites competing for eyeballs this year than in the 2010 elections, no one expected these massive numbers. Yet proud staffers of GMA News Online and web developers at GMA's New Media Inc. (NMI) do not call it an accident.

"It was the product of months of hard work, especially the collaboration among the people who developed our election count pages, from the back end to the front-end display," says Howie Severino, GMA Network's vice president for multimedia journalism. "Our website stayed fast and robust, despite the heavy traffic and despite being cyberattacked on the eve of the election."

Users also quickly realized that the site was search-optimizied for elections, yielding number one rankings on google search for nearly any province coupled with "election results."

The teamwork extended beyond site development and web coverage. GMA News' hyperactive social media teams worked around the clock driving traffic to the site even as they replied to numerous queries about the voting process from all over the country. GMA News' election coverage on TV and radio repeatedly referred viewers to the site for comprehensive election results.

The site's record-breaking metrics are a source of pride for the entire network. But more than metrics, Severino says, "what matters more to us is that people could rely on us for a vital public service on the most important days in a democracy." — GMA News
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