Does opinionated content drive traffic?

The biggest news brand in the world is MailOnline. It has a reputation for being opinionated. My hypothesis: opinions drive traffic.

I set out to test this by comparing the homepages of MailOnline, The Guardian, Metro and Buzzfeed, ranking the top 10 articles on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 5 being the most opinionated)

Here are the scores (for Dec 27th, 5pm): Metro 17, MailOnline 20, Guardian 21, Buzzfeed 11. I don’t see any clear correlation between opinions and traffic.

Other comparisons…

While i was in comparison mode i looked at how emotional headlines were on Metro and MailOnline (using this headline analyzer with the “Media & comms” category). Higher scores indicate headlines that are more emotional.

I did the comparison for the top 10 homepage articles on 31st Dec. The average scores were 21.5 for Metro and 24.6 for MailOnline.

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