Megaupload was one of the most visited sites on the Internet before its take down earlier this month. No one up until now looked at the consequences of that takedown in regards to the traffic the site received. Did it just go *poof* or did users flock to other sites instead to do whatever they have been doing on Megaupload?
One way to find out is to look at Alexa's comparison chart. Alexa computes a site's global and local rank from data gathered by its toolbar and a number of additional sources. While not 100% accurate, it can give an indication of a site's traffic performance over time.
Even better, you can key in up to four competitive sites to compare their performance with the selected site. When you do that for Megaupload, and the four sites ThePiratebay, Rapidshare, Mediafire and Filesonic, you come up with the following graph.
Megaupload was shut down on January 20, and you can see a big drop shortly thereafter (the blue line). The site stayed on a high level nevertheless. This is explained by users still clicking on links leading to the site. While these links return a 404 error, Alexa may still count the visits. It is likely that the site will slowly drop to 0 over the coming months.
You also see that Filesonic experienced a drop. This is because of the site's announcement that they would block the site's file sharing component.
The Piratebay on the other hand saw a huge increase in daily reach a few days after the takedown. The site went over the 1.5 daily reach mark in percent which it never crossed before in January. Mediafire saw a big jump in traffic as well during that same time. Rapidshare, another file hosting company saw a lighter increase.
This is no proof obviously, and traffic may have increased because of other reasons. It is however likely that Megaupload and Filesonic users simply moved on to use other services. And those are not only file hosting related, considering that The Piratebay's traffic increased as well. What's your take on the matter?
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.