It seems that I’m always on the hunt for a new good book, but that I’m never taking the time to read the ones I have. I don’t actually need to buy any more books – I have about 5 unread ones sitting on my shelf at home! Interestingly enough, I spend most of my day reading short articles online and converting those I find important into 140 character tweets. It seems that nowadays people have time for a lot of little consumption but not enough to dedicate towards a larger published text. Thinking about this odd phenomenon and of course wanting to see what good reads were out there, I decided to check out Goodreads.com and then the site’s health on Compete PRO.
Maybe people are still taking the time to read books apart from all of their tweeting, texting, and Facebook stalking! Or maybe, these visitors are just like me in that they love to discover new books but don’t make the commitment to finish them. Since Goodreads.com is experiencing phenomenal growth, I wanted to understand what brought people to the site in September. Were they searching “Good books”, “What to read”, “Novels”, “Steve Jobs Biography” or “I can’t seem to find the time to read but can’t stop tweeting”?
|Keyword||Search Referrals Share||Paid Share||Natural Share||Average Time Index||Total Time Index|
|quotes about life||3.01%||5.72%||94.28%||1.42||64.32|
|marilyn monroe quotes||2.12%||5.31%||94.69%||1.31||41.83|
|bob marley quotes||0.62%||0.00%||100.00%||1.26||11.76|
|taylor swift quotes||0.24%||5.88%||94.12%||1.1||4.05|
|nicholas sparks quotes||0.22%||0.00%||100.00%||1.23||4.13|
|audrey hepburn quotes||0.18%||0.00%||100.00%||1.11||2.92|
|lady gaga quotes||0.13%||0.00%||100.00%||1.31||2.62|
|dr. seuss quotes||0.12%||0.00%||100.00%||1.53||2.86|
|quotes about life lessons||0.12%||0.00%||100.00%||0.81||1.45|
|dr seuss quotes||0.12%||10.36%||89.64%||1.68||2.97|
|maya angelou quotes||0.10%||0.00%||100.00%||2.99||4.35|
|quotes by marilyn monroe||0.09%||0.00%||100.00%||1.24||1.75|
|mother teresa quotes||0.09%||-||-||1.77||2.34|
|joyce meyer quotes||0.09%||0.00%||100.00%||1.45||1.9|
|famous quotes about life||0.08%||0.00%||100.00%||1.81||2.23|
|quotes on life||0.08%||0.00%||100.00%||5.2||6.08|
|eat pray love quotes||0.08%||0.00%||100.00%||0.72||0.83|
Interestingly enough, I noticed that a lot of searches included references to quotes. When I did an analysis, I found that actually 24% of the search referral data included “quote” or “quotes”! I had no idea that people went to goodreads.com to find a “good quote”. To me, the term “good read” implies the image of taking time to cozy up and enjoy a nice long book. I decided to see outgoing traffic from goodreads.com that was lost to competitive sites.
|Outgoing Traffic from goodreads.com (Timeframe: September 2011)|
|Destination Site||Industry Category||Monthly Outgoing Share||Change in Share|
|librarything.com||Reading and Writing||0.22%||24.58%|
|brainyquote.com||Reading and Writing||0.20%||19.45%|
|thinkexist.com||Reading and Writing||0.15%||4.46%|
|paperbackswap.com||Reading and Writing||0.15%||4.76%|
|scribd.com||Reading and Writing||0.12%||24.13%|
|smashwords.com||Reading and Writing||0.12%||137.94%|
|allpoetry.com||Reading and Writing||0.09%||56.16%|
|searchquotes.com||Reading and Writing||0.07%||-24.72%|
|tthfanfic.org||Reading and Writing||0.05%||-1.01%|
|great-quotes.com||Reading and Writing||0.04%||19.05%|
|mangafox.com||Reading and Writing||0.04%||57.03%|
|quotegarden.com||Reading and Writing||0.03%||-10.19%|
|allreaders.com||Reading and Writing||0.03%||68.39%|
|online-literature.com||Reading and Writing||0.03%||-48.09%|
|nypl.org||Reading and Writing||0.03%||60.32%|
As it turns out, out of the top 15 sites people went to after goodreads.com in September, 5 of them were sites specifically dedicated to quotes.
It seems funny to me that such a large percentage of Good Reads visitors are those perusing for quotes- not books! Sure, quotes are shorter, consumable, and yes tweetable, but are we really all so pressed for time that we are generally more attracted to packaged words than a book? It makes sense if you look at status updates, tweets, and texts. We have been taught to say as much as we can with as little space and in turn, consume smaller bits of information.
My question is: Are we saying enough? Do the character limited updates lead to too much quantity and not enough quality? What do you use Goodreads.com for? Do you find that you have enough time during the week to read larger published texts? Is that something you’re even looking for anymore?
Jen Duguay joins Compete to take on all things social media. She comes from a social issue background, most recently having worked for the Social Innovation Forum, the venture philanthropy arm of Root Cause, a nonprofit research and consulting firm. Jen's interests include singing, marketing, running, art, making guacemole, and using social entrepreneurship to tackle world issues. She has spent time in Belize and the Dominican Republic working on microfinance initiatives and recently traveled to Kenya where she studied the public healthcare system. Follow Jen @jenduguay on Twitter.