Medical News Today reaps rewards as growth continues in 2014

Medical News Today’s investment in editorial resources and infrastructure is the driving factor behind continued growth in website traffic in 2014. Unique visitors, visits and page views are up by more than 50% on the same period last year, the company is performing well financially and reports a strong demand for advertising inventory internationally.

Alastair Hazell, CEO, said “the restructuring and expanding of the editorial department coupled with the launch of the mobile optimised site has helped to boost the growth in traffic to records levels. Mobile and tablet traffic continue to grow exponentially; the new website design gives users accessing via these devices the best possible experience – a fast, responsive and intuitive interface that allows users to quickly find the latest news and information in any therapeutic area. Whilst much of the infrastructure work may not be immediately apparent to users these developments will improve the user experience. With further developments in testing, Medical News Today will continue to be at the forefront of website design and performance.”

The company also completed the integration of a new ad server this year. Peter Hill, Sales and Marketing Director, said of the new ad server “this is an important step in managing our advertising inventory in the most efficient way. With more inventory to manage and a wide variety of advertising partners – direct clients, agencies and network partners, for both desktop and mobile, we are now able to meet all of our clients’ requests and respond quickly to our customers requirements.”

Medical News Today continues to break records

November 2013 was another record breaking month for Medical News Today. Compared to the same period last year visits are up by 77%, uniques by 73% and page views by 80%. Pages per visit and average visit duration are both up too, whilst the bounce rate has fallen.

For 2013 to date the figures are similar – each month in 2013 has exceeded the figures for 2012; overall visits are up 68%, uniques 62% and page views 65%. The average visit duration is up 17% on 2012 whilst for the year to date the bounce rate remains similar (down 1%).

The increases are across the board in terms of device – desktop visits are up 44% whilst mobile visits have increased by 229% (and now represent almost 1/3 of visits). Visits from tablets showed the largest % growth – up 234% on 2012 – however this represents  less than 10% of total visits.

Medical News Today mobile optimised site launched

This week saw the full global roll out of our new mobile optimised site. On the 10th anniversary of the launch of Medical News Today we are proud to announce the most comprehensive update of the site so far. This extensive update keeps Medical News Today at the forefront of internet publishing technology. To desktop users the changes may appear minimal, however the launch of the new site ensures our fast-growing mobile and tablet audience have the best possible experience on the site.

New MNT homepage

The new site also allows for further advertising opportunities to be fully exploited with new ad units tailored to the devices being used to browse the site. We will now be able to offer advertisers campaigns targeted by country, region, disease/condition, profession and device used to access the site.

Another significant development  - report that Medical News Today has broken into the top 5,000 websites globally (2,127th in the US, 2,912th in the UK).

Medical News Today Alexa rank

Latest statistics for Medical News Today

Medical News Today continues to grow, August 2013 saw over 7 million unique visitors and over 8 million visits – an increase of over 40% for both compared to the same month in 2012. Pageviews are up 38% on the same period last year and average visit duration is up 26%.

The UK audience is growing fast – UK visits are up 63% on the same period last year. Australia, New Zealand and South Africa visits are increasing faster still – all are over 70% up on the previous year.

Medical News Today May statistics – focus on mobile

Medical News Today had another strong month in May 2013, with 8,669,949 unique visitors,  9,856,714 visits and a total of 12,274,612 page impressions. 

MNT stats May 2013


Daily visits peaked at just under 500,000 visits on the 30th May – a new record – when an article was widely circulated on reddit

Mobile traffic continues to grow – over 1/3 of visits are from mobile devices. 

MNT mobile traffic May 2013


The iPad and iPhone are the most popular devices to access the site:

MNT mobile device info May 2013


Medical News Today will be launching a fully mobile optimised site later this year – more to follow on this.

Viewable vs Non-Viewable Advertising

Blank Advertising Board

The move towards a CPMV (cost per thousand viewable impressions) model of buying inventory is gathering pace – and this has implications for publishers, advertisers, agencies/networks and technology providers.

Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS) is an ecosystem-wide initiative to propose standards for metrics and advertising “currency” that will enhance evaluation of digital media and facilitate cross-platform comparison for brand marketing. 3MS have proposed 5 Guiding Principles of Digital Measurement.  The IAB, along with the ANA and 4A’s, make up the coalition.

I’m only going to look at principle number 1 in this post – first we need to define what a viewable impression is. It’s pretty simple – a viewable impression occurs when 50% of an ad is visible for one second or more – adtech has a neat graphic for this.

Principle #1 – Move to a “viewable impressions” standard and count real exposures online.

Today we count “served impressions” as recorded by ad servers. Often, ad units are not in a viewable space to the end-user or fail to fully load on the screen – potentially resulting in substantial over-counting of impressions. Viewable exposures are increasingly the norm across other media and better address the needs of brand marketers.

Why does this matter?  Depending on which report you read 31% of online ads go unseen. Other reports show a massive variation – from 7.3% of ads being viewable to 78.6%. For Rich media this study shows that 63% of ads are viewable. And no one likes to pay for unseen ads.

The findings of various studies show that viewable ads perform better – Google released data from their Active View measurement tool (accredited by the MRC – Media Rating Council – last month) showing that viewable ads are (rather unsurprisingly) more likely to be clicked than non-viewable ads. As the article also mentions – there are other factors at play here too – for example:

Common sense would say (and the research so far agrees) that below the fold ads will deliver fewer viewable ad imps than ATF ads for each thousand page imps; therefore according to the data in these studies they would be expected to have lower CTRs (when using imps served as the measurement). However on Medical News Today the 300×250 below the fold ad unit (at the base of article pages) has a similar or even higher CTR than the ATF 300×250 unit – this means that it’s actually a much higher (more than double) CTR when calculated on viewable ad imps  – this is the ‘gold below the fold’ mentioned in the Google article. Are users reading to the end of the article simply more likely to click? Once we have some more detailed viewability statistics for the 2 units I’ll be able to look into this further.

This article on Search Engine Watch argues ad viewability improves accuracy of effectiveness measurement and that can increase the flow of dollars to digital as better comparisons can be made with offline media.

However it’s not all straight forward – as this article on Ad Age points out, there isn’t necessarily a consensus on the best approach. Everyone agrees that viewable ads are important – but the way to measure this and the move to make CPMV the new currency worries some. Technology firms appear more bullish in their predictions – although that’s only to be expected. Doubtless there is still a lot of work to be done before a consistently high level of viewability is the norm. Some publishers are sceptical and point out that implementation will not be straightforward. A measured and methodical approach to adoption is likely to maintain the most trust in online advertising in the interim. And some feel that the proposed changes will drive ad innovation and lead to a healthier online ad market overall.

Also it’s important to think of all areas of online; mobile web and apps have separate guidelines – 3MS applies only to PC-based web ads and viewability should apply to mobile web and mobile apps too. Mobile is moving fast – perhaps too fast to include all this in the near future, but eventually a level playing field will allow the best analysis and decision making for campaigns.

In the meantime here is some current advice on how to use viewability to buy media.

Overall, moving towards greater transparency on viewability seems inevitable. However this is only part of the ad verification toolbox. An ad imp may be viewable, but if it’s part of the estimated 4% of ads that are served to the wrong geo-target (due to the differences in vendors IP databases) then it’s still not one that advertisers will want to pay for.  Other estimates put the figure at mis-targeted campaigns much higher – particularly local geo-targeting.

And here’s the obligatory infographic – from onscroll

viewability inforgraphic

Traffic sources, browsers and mobile

Medical News Today website continues to adapt to the changing online environment making full use of various traffic sources to reach the widest possible audience. So far in 2013 we have had over 32M visitors – with just over half arriving from search engines. 30% of visitors arrive at the site directly and 15% are referrals:

Medical News Today traffic sources Q1 2013


This represents a large increase in referral and direct traffic – matching the growth of our social media activity; Facebook referrals are up almost 250% on the same period in 2010 for example. Mobile Facebook traffic is up 15,000% on the same period in 2010.

Mobile traffic now accounts for just over 35% of all traffic on the site – our new fully mobile optimised site design will be launched in 2013 to provide an even better service to this audience.

Mobile traffic MNT


Internet Explorer is the most popular browser, closely followed by Safari – with Chrome catching up.

Browser stats Medical News Today






Medical News Today sets another new record in 2013

Medical News Today established another new record in March 2013 – over 8 million unique visitors in March 2013 and 11,697,528 page views.

MNT traffic 2 March 2013 MNT traffic March 2013


Q1 2013 has been one of Medilexicon International’s strongest quarterly performances ever and the signs are that Q2 2013 will also prove to be a record breaker.

The growth in traffic is across all countries with very strong performances in key advertising revenue regions. The United States of America continues to be the largest country with just over 53% of visits. The UK has seen a rise of 1% of share of visits Vs the same period last year. Growth in Canada has been stronger still, with a 2% increase in Vs March 2012. Australia has risen by almost 1.5% and India by 0.5%. Growth has also been strong in other EU countries – notably France, whose share of visits rose by over 0.6% to 1.05%.

MNT location March 2013


Branded pharmaceutical direct advertising has also been stronger than usual for the first quarter with a number of new campaigns starting and existing campaigns continuing.

Patients and the future of healthcare

The recent eyeforpharma event in Barcelona (#e4p) raised some interesting points (and some old ones) about patients and whether pharma really does put them first.

Do pharmacos put products before patients? And how can big pharma improve the relationship? The internet has dramatically changed the relationship between doctors and patients, and it seems that pharma is still trying to catch up with the multitude of digital marketing routes and the new dynamics in healthcare relationships (plus progress continues apace, so it’s trying to catch up with a target moving ahead quickly – in different directions). That such a heavily regulated industry as pharma is seen to be slow out of the blocks is no surprise – the FDA’s guidance on apps ‘should’ be out by September 2013. The GMC has just released it’s Good Medical Practice 2013 guide – with a section on Doctors’ use of social media – and there are some guidelines out there for how best to use Twitter and Facebook. But it’s not the fully formed, all-encompassing guidelines for everything SoLoMo that some had hoped for (and will probably never arrive – to attempt such a job would take so long that the guidelines would likely be out of date by the time they were published).

There is no longer any doubt that patients use digital tools to look for (and hopefully find) heath info:

Again, no surprise here, so do HCPs.

There is some discussion around the terms used too; Are patients still patients? Or are they consumers/customers? Or just people?

However they are described – as this article says – even for empowered patients their doctor still knows best.

Where does pharma fit into this? Well it’s not doing so well at the moment reports MM&M – presentations by Ian Talmage and others highlighted some of the issues.

What’s in store in the future?

For pharmacos, rules and regulations play a part, as does the much discussed ‘big data’:

As far as health goes – putting control into the hands of consumer/customers/patients (and caregivers/family) is firmly on the agenda:

Whilst the debates continue, trusted information will be published/posted/tweeted and found – by HCPs and patients – on diseases and conditions, treatments, apps and gadgets.

Medilexicon International reports record traffic in February 2013

Medilexicon International Ltd. websites received almost 8 million unique visitors in Feb 2013 – a record for a 4 week month.

Medical News Today visitor statistics February 2013

Medical News Today provided the majority of the audience – 7,036,039 unique visitors generated 10,217,353 pageviews globally – the USA being just under 54% of the audience.

Medilexicon visitor stats February 2013

Medilexicon‘s 741,340 unique visitors made 990,339 visits and generated 2,343,476 pageviews. 

Hospitals Worldwide visitor statistics February 2013

Hospitals Worldwide had 134,866 unique visitors and delivered 241,576 pageviews in total.

Rare disorders without borders

NATIONS around the globe will come together this week to mark the sixth International Rare Disease Day – with dedicated websites for US and EU audiences.

The worldwide event, with the slogan “Rare Disorders without Borders”, will see many thousands of people taking part in activities designed to raise awareness of unusual diseases and conditions.

Christian Nordqvist, of Medilexicon International said the day was a fantastic way of highlighting health issues which were not often in the public eye.

“International Rare Disease Day gives people the chance to find out more about a whole host of conditions which are lesser known.

“Part of our mission with websites like Medical News Today is to inform people as much as possible, not only about the most common diseases, but also about conditions which may only affect a few hundred people globally.

“Days such as this are another great way of getting information out there – for patients and for people in the health and pharmaceutical industries.”

The day is is being co-ordinated by the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) and the European Organisation for Rare Diseases (EURORDIS), an organisation which works to promote a co-operative approach between countries when it comes to research and policy-making.

It says, “Patients and their families who feel isolated because of the rareness of their diseases should know that there are more than 6000 rare diseases affecting more than 60 million people in Europe and the US alone.

“Most of these diseases are genetic, serious, chronic and debilitating. Reaching out across borders can help them find common solutions and remind them they are not alone.”

With more than 250 new rare diseases identified each year, the need for research and for the development of new drugs has never been greater.

But the good news is that the market for drugs to treat rarer conditions is growing, thanks in part to the 1983 Orphan Drugs Act and it’s EU equivalent, which can provide significant incentives to companies willing to manufacture drugs which would otherwise not be made.

Messages from our users

BROWSING through some of the many comments our readers leave for us every day, we started to feel just a little bit pleased with ourselves.

It’s wonderful to be told you’re doing a good job, and the number of glowing comments we receive not only puts a big smile on our faces but also spurs us on to keep delivering the best medical content on the web.

So, this week’s blog entry is going to involve a small amount of polite boasting in the form of a selection of quotes from our readers – some of them top medical experts and others some of the thousands of people who visit our sites each day looking for information and support on a huge range of conditions.

Here goes!

“The reason for this note is to thank you for your invaluable service.  If you had not published that article (on breast cancer) and I had not nagged, my darling wife of 43 years may not have been alive to see our 44th anniversary.  Thank you, for there is not much else to say.  I hope you will continue writing your articles and I will continue reading them.”

“Just a HUGE humble THANK YOU to you good folks for the EXCELLENT, WONDERFUL, HELPFUL medical/health information website you good folks provide.  It’s a gratefully appreciated, easy-to-use resource of important health information and news.” (67-year-old AIDS patient, Los Angeles)

“Thank you very much for your outstanding medical site. It is the best of its
kind on the web. You care about health and human welfare.”

“I just wanted to let you know that this is the best site for medical info I have ever used.  I use your site daily on the job and I love it.” (President of a local chapter of the American Academy of Professional Coders)

“I think your website is absolutely terrific.  I cannot even begin to pay you enough compliments.  In my many years in my fields of expertise, I have seen many sites come and go and used many different spell-check/reference programs purchased for ridiculous sums of money or embedded in software programs purchased for transcription.  Yours is, by far, the very best I have ever used.  I have been in the medical transcription field for over 30 years.”

” Just wanted to let you know how much I truly appreciate this site.  You have helped me so often that I cannot even count the number of times I have visited to look up an acronym or definition. Thanks so very much! Keep up the good work! “

“I rely daily on your site.  You and your staff deserve high praise and great credit.  It is a pleasure to use your site – a reliable information resource in a cacophony of poor or misleading information. “ (By a doctor)

“Another year goes by and Medical News Today is still the only web site that I check on a daily basis.  I dial in each morning before I leave the house.  As a vaccine specialist I have to be up to date with the latest news on viral diseases and anything relating to wider health issues.  The variety and worldwide content are great.  I love the simple design of MNT, it’s so quick to check the contents and load up what I want to read.”

“I want to send a note of thanks to your staff for this great website.  I have a severe case of Crohn’s Disease and I use the Internet to keep up with the latest medical news on my condition.   Your website was recommended to me by my GI and along with is the best medical website I have ever used.  I take articles I get on your website with me to my medical appointments to help in my treatment.  Your service has made a positive difference in my life and I appreciate it greatly!  Keep up the excellent work for all of us who suffer from serious illness.”

“Your site is the one that kept popping up so I read, and read, and read. I have learned more from your site than anywhere, including the doctor. So I just wanted to thank the staff for a job very well done and I look forward to all the great reading and learning in the future”

“Thank you, thank you, thank you for this site.  I don’t have to run across the building for help anymore.  Fabulous!!!” (medical professional)

“I am the Program Director for Michigan Cleft Network, a non- profit organization that serves Michigan families. I have been reading your articles in the Cleft Lip and Palate section and I love all the information you have to offer. I have shared two of your articles on our website and would love to keep sharing them.”

“Medical News Today is a wonderful source of news and information. I truly appreciate your service.”

“This is an American website which provides hourly updates of health  news from sources such as JAMA, BMJ and The Lancet. You can register with the website and customize the homepage to show news relevant to  you, or you can register for weekly emailed updates. There is a search engine, which brings up articles in chronological order and which  includes links to Wikipedia and a medical dictionary. The website processes around 170 articles a day and has 100,000 in the archive. It also provides patient information on common disorders such as cancer  and obesity. But this is probably not the best resource for patient information. There is the option of adding Medical News Today as a Facebook application so that you can receive updates this way. Using this website is a straightforward way of accessing many health news providers through one website” (From a review by The Royal College of  Obstetricians and Gynaecologists)

I think you’ll understand why we’re so pleased!

Medical News Today continues to top the search engine listings and reaches 100K Twitter followers

Medical News Today has 120 Twitter feeds – one for each of the disease/condition categories that we cover and a ‘featured health news’ feed and we have just reached the 100,000 twitter followers across all channels. There is also our corporate Twitter account that keeps followers up to date with the latest company news and related information.

We’re also continuing to dominate the search engine listings for ‘medical news’ – some screen shots below show our number one position of Google, Bing, Yahoo! And also on Facebook and Twitter (for ‘health news’).

Google - Medical News Today #1 Bing - Medical News Today #1 Yahoo! - Medical News Today #1 Facebook - Medical News Today Twitter - Health news search

IT has been a record-breaking January for our top-ranking website Medical News Today.

In the first month of 2013 we recorded a massive 10.5 million page impressions – up over 1 million on our previous best.

“It has been a phenomenal start to the new year,” said Alastair Hazell.

“We are seeing traffic to all our sites growing at a fantastic rate.”

In January traffic to Medical News Today included visitors from 224 countries around the globe.

And of our millions of visitors, just over 54% were from the US and almost 10% from the UK.

“It’s great that we’re reaching so many countries,” said Alastair “It’s a testament to quality of our site that people around the world are turning to us for their medical news.”

The Medical News Today Facebook page also reached the milestone of 100,000 likes.

10 Million page imps