The Silicon Valley Watcher points to a New York Times press release that states that pageviews generated by RSS feeds increased by 342% over the past year and grew an incredible 39% over the past month. While there is a hint in disappointment that the total number of RSS-generated pageviews represented only about 1% of total pageviews on the sight, one must remember that a visit as a result of an RSS refer may actually be responsible for multiple pageviews.
If my own browsing habits are any indication, there’s more to this number than meets the eye. I normally follow a link from my reader and than read the through to several more pages on the site. Remember, most feature articles on nytimes.com are spread over multiple web pages so even if you stick to reading through just a single article, you’re going to generate a few more pageviews than your single hit from your RSS reader.
I recall a snippet of a conversation I had with someone (the name escapes me) that worked at the Times and he told me that on some days the number of pageviews generated by their collective RSS feeds surpassed the number of pageviews from the Front Page. This was back in the Spring of 2004.
I would agree with the key take-away in this article. The growth in traffic at nytimes.com is being driven by RSS.