Newsbeat: Introducing Benchmarking for stories

September 27th, 2011 by Isaac

Real-time analytics like Newsbeat enables you to understand what’s happening on your site right now, but it can still be hard to understand whether an article is performing better or worse than it should be. Today, we’re trying to make that easier by introducing benchmarking for articles. Our algorithms model the typical path of a story published at that time on your site over the first 12 hours of its life cycle and give you an instant understanding of whether your article is performing above or below that typical path. Simply go to the performance tab and click on an article (our algorithms automatically ignore landing pages) and you’ll get a sense of how that article is doing.

In the example above,  the red line showing actual performance is just under what would be typical performance for a story on that site published at that time; it is underperforming against the benchmark. In the example below, the red line showing actual article performance is beating the benchmark of typical article performance; it’s a great story!

When looking at your top 10 stories you should expect them to beat typical performance by quite a bit; that’s why they are your top ten stories! However, as you delve into stories below the top rank you’ll see their performance converge with typical and instantly be able to see when an unexpected event like a link from Drudge or spike from social moves you away from that typical performance. Once you’ve published a story, come back to our dashboard and see if it is out performing your standard articles. If it’s falling short, make sure you’re taking every opportunity to promote it through your site and social media. When a story is exceeding expectations, then it might be time to give it some homepage love, or understand how you can apply this success to all your other content.

We’re constantly working on improving the models, incorporating more factors, and providing more context around the data to ensure that you can extract as much value from our product as possible. Please email us anytime at:, we’d love to hear from you.


5 Responses

  • What does the “L” mean under the stories on newsbeat?

    • It means that the page is a landing page (e.g home page, section page) as opposed to an article page, that has the contents of a specific news item.

    • Dee, can you post a link to the acutal report, please? I don't think I've read Northeastern's.The stats I'd be interested in are poverty rates; that's usually the one most closely tracking standardized test scores.

  • Do you guys know that if you go to it is an https page and clicking on any of the links takes you to an https page which subsequently breaks the images on all pages…

    • Thanks for letting us know, Bryan. We’ve prioritized a fix. Should be locked up in the coming weeks.