A.M. Costa Rica indisputably best read news site, data shows

A.M. Costa Rica is indisputably the best read online English-language news source in Costa Rica, according to Alexa, the Amazon.com company that keeps track of this type of data.

This Sunday Alexa said that A.M. Costa Rica was ranked at No. 93,888 in the world and No. 89 in Costa Rica. Facebook, Google and youTube continue in positions one, two and three in the world, according to Alexa.

The Tico Times had a 109,824 world rank and a rank of 226 in Costa Rica, according to Alexa.

A.M. Costa Rica showed a 10 percent increase in readers over the last seven days and a 5 percent increase over the last three months, said the company.

Alexa said that the readership of The Tico Times dropped 16.4 percent in the last month and went down 10.3 percent over the last three months.

All other English language Web sites in Costa Rica are far lower than The Tico Times by tens of thousands of positions. One supposed news site has a world rank of 1,669,979, said Alexa.

By contrast, La Nación, the leading Spanish language online news source in Costa Rica has a world rank of 8,343 and a Costa Rica rank of 8.

The comparison became possible because The Tico Times ended its print edition last Sept. 28 and now publishes only to the Internet, as A.M. Costa Rica has done since 2001.

Alexa measures Internet activity with an inferential statistical technique that counts visitors. Says the company:

“In addition to the Alexa crawl, which tells what’s on the web, Alexa employs web usage information, which tells us what’s being seen on the web by real people. This information comes from our community of Alexa Toolbar users. Each member of the community, in addition to getting a useful tool, is giving back. Simply by using the toolbar, each member contributes valuable information about the web, how it is used, and what is important and what isn’t. This information is returned to the community with improved related links, traffic ranks, and more.”

Although publishers can manipulate Alexa in the short run, the general worldwide trends of Web pages are fairly solid.

A.M. Costa Rica also employes the paid services of StatCounter, an Irish firm which counts Web usages. Each page of A.M. Costa Rica contains a small bit of java code that alerts StatCounter when a reader downloads a page.

StatCounter reports that A.M. Costa Rica served up 38,251 pages to readers Thursday and 36,589 Friday. These were the last two days of publication. StatCounter also said that there were 13,115 unique visitors Thursday and 12,487 Friday.

A.M. Costa Rica advertising executives frequently encourage clients to sign up for StatCounter’s free service for smaller Web sites so that the client can clearly see the impact of A.M. Costa Rica advertising.

When The Tico Times also maintained a print edition, the actual number of readers was unclear because there were Internet readers of the electronic site and readers of the paper product. The Tico Times did not make public a detailed report based on third-party accounting.

Readership numbers are important to advertisers who hope to market their products. Equally important is the demographics of the readers. Since the beginning, A.M. Costa Rica has attracted Internet savvy readers who most likely have disposable income for advertisers’ products. In  addition perhaps as much as 60 percent of A.M. Costa Rica readers are outside this country, mainly in the United States, Canada and Europe, thanks to the reach of the Internet.

A.M. Costa Rica advertising executives also encourage potential clients to check the rankings of this newspaper and that of supposed competitors in order to make an informed decision.

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