The Effect of Links and Excerpts on Internet News Consumption
54 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2015
Date Written: September 24, 2015
Does an Internet news site that excerpts and links to its competition steal their traffic? Or does excerpting increase the linked sites' audience? We develop a structural model to address this question. We show theoretically that the excerpted sites may either benefit (because consumers learn the linked content is suited to their preferences) or be harmed (because excerpting makes the linking site so attractive it steals traffic from the sites it links to). Using data from celebrity news sites, we measure the impact of excerpting on consumers' browsing choices, and find the former effect is dominant — that links are beneficial to both the linking and linked sites, as well as consumers.
Keywords: Structural models, Learning models, Dynamic programming, Bayesian estimation
JEL Classification: M31, D83, L82
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation