November 29, 2021

Harry Potter Will Cost Companies Billions?

Every year around the Superbowl or NCAA final four we always see those articles about how the event will cost companies billions of dollars of productivity. The general theory is that people will spend all this time putting together squares, making party plans, and just talking about the game around the water cooler.

Of course, all of these studies fail to realize that if employees weren’t talking about the game, they’d be talking about something else. I don’t know anybody who goes into work and spends their entire time there being productive. Everybody makes a little bit of friendly conversation.

I was shocked though, when I didn’t see a similar article for the latest Harry Potter book. Articles like these are a surefire way to get mainstream press – almost as good as the annual “AAA says traffic will increase over the 4th of July” article.

But then I realized the true effect of the Harry Potter book – it’s over 700 pages and people WILL read it. So while reading won’t affect people’s time spent at work, it will affect what they do with their free time.

A recent thread at Search Engine Roundtable suggests that webmasters are seeing traffic decreases since the book was released.

I can attest. I not only spent most of Saturday and all day Sunday finishing the book, but I saw adsense revenues on one of my teen-frequented websites drop from $100/day the weekend prior to about $30/day this past weekend. My traffic dropped by about 15% too!

Looking at some of my client adwords accounts, their clicks are down too as compared to last weekend.

It appears that while we all read the latest Potter adventures, we’re sacrificing reading other stuff online. It only makes sense.

Will this cost billions? Probably not. If anything the book will make us all unplug for a while, before hurriedly logging back on to discuss the ending. I’ll give you guys a few weeks to finish reading before I offer my take of the entire epic.

About Ryan Jones

Ryan Jones is an SEO from Detroit. By day he works as a manager of SEO & Analytics at SapientNitro where his team performs SEO for Fortune500 clients. By night he's either playing hockey or attempting to take over the world with his own websites - which he would have already succeeded in doing had it not been for those meddling kids and their dog. The views expressed here have not been paid for and belong only to Ryan, not any of his employers or clients. Follow Ryan on Twitter at: @RyanJones, add him on Google+ or visit his personal website: www.RyanMJones.com