Consumerist.com: Helping "Consumers Bite Back" With One Ferocious Bark

There’s a marketing saying; "Any press is good press," but that’s a hard line to swallow when the press in question is you coming in as runner up for the worst company in America according to Consumerist.com (Halliburton). With the consumer affairs focused blog growing substantially in 2007, and also spreading primarily anti-corporate messaging virally all over the web, Consumerist.com now poses a legitimate concern to some of the brands that have graced it’s front page.

Compared to other blogs, Consumerist.com is reasonably large, attracting over 300,000 monthly visitors in May. But what’s more interesting is where visitors go outside of the blog.

The chart above shows the top brand-related sites that May Consumerist visitors went to in the same month, by penetration*.

  • Neither of the top two sites with the highest overlap, Ebay and Amazon.com, have had negative commentary on Consumerist recently. The very high penetration at both of these sites is partially a function of the relative volume of traffic to these monster retailers.
  • Sites ranking 3rd through 10th all had at least one piece of negative press coverage on the Consumerist blog since the beginning of 2007. This overlap doesn’t clearly quantify the impact of consumerist.com on these other site visitors, but it does demonstrate the risk of potential Walmart shoppers seeing Walmarts blunders and deciding to purchase elsewhere.

Consumerist is constantly updated, ends up on the front page of Digg.com frequently, and as a Technorati 100 blog, receives a substantial amount of incoming links. As a result, a large share of Consumerist traffic is driven by search.

Why does this matter to brands? 57% of the search queries that drove traffic to consumerist.com referenced specific brand names. Essentially, people searching for information on "cingular" or "circuit city employee" would be served exposés on the two companies as highly relevant search results. As Consumerist.com grows, the risk of exposure only gets worse for the corporations"¦which is, ironically, terrific for everyone else.

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