Scribd Stats: A 'Google Analytics For Documents'

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Document sharing hub Scribd has just announced a new feature that will allow publishers on the site to more accurately measure how their content is performing. Dubbed Scribd Stats, they’re likening it to a ‘Google Analytics for Documents’, and it’s an apt description — the product looks quite similar to Google’s popular web analytics product, but it’s obviously been tweaked to suit the documents, presentations, and other files that have been uploaded to Scribd.

CEO Trip Adler says that until now, publishers haven’t really taken advantage of the features that the web affords — they might know how many hits a given document has received, but there’s much more data waiting to be unlocked. That’s where Scribd Stats comes in. After logging in, you’ll see an overview charting your overall document popularity (your aggregate read count, the number of times embedded versions of your docs have been read, etc.). You can also see this broken down on a per-document basis. Graphs look similar to Google Analytics, allowing you to quickly adjust the date range.

You can also select individual documents to do a deeper dive, with features that include: a heatmap for each document you’ve uploaded, allowing you to see which portion of a document people find most interesting; data on which search queries led people to find your document, and what they’re searching for within your doc; and graphs that led you track a document’s popularity over time. The feature will also allow publishers to analyze the performance of Scribd’s ReadCast feature, which lets users share the content they’ve recently read to Facebook and Twitter.

During the event, Adler took the opportunity to list of some of Scribd’s growth stats: it’s now home to one billion HTML5-based pages and is growing 15% month over month, which he says makes it the largest and fastest growing corpus of text online. The site saw 60 million uniques in the last month, and ranks a among Alexa’s top 100 sites worldwide.

Adler says that this is part of Scribd’s transition to a site where people read and share what they’re reading with their friends (before this year the site’s big pitch was to publishers looking to get their content online, now Scribd wants to be able to tempt more publishers by offering a sizable audience as well).

Scribd Stats probably isn’t going to increase readership directly, but it will allow publishers to hone in on what their readers like, which will (hopefully) help them produce more engaging content.  It could attract new publishers to the platform — perhaps authors will start releasing excerpts of their books on Scribd before publication, using Scribd Stats to figure out which pages are duds.

Scribd says that the product will be rolling out slowly to users over the next few weeks.

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