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How Valentine's Day kills Pornhub traffic, but missile threats bring in the views

When I originally took this feature I was thinking it was going to be a joke. You know something you put on your resume and proudly say, “Yes I wrote this! Why you makes ask? Because why not! Aren’t you curious about how Pornhub functions?”

That’s not the truth at all actually. I was just thinking it would be interesting to make an article about this and see what information I could dig up on Pornhub’s traffic data. So, I activated my incognito mode on Google Chrome, making sure my internet history isn’t forever scarred by this event, typed in “Pornhub analytics” and got everything I wanted and more from Pornhub itself. I was shocked that Pornhub was so organized and how well the information was gathered together. This made it so much easier to find out which events make Pornhub’s traffic go down the toilet.

So the main enemies to Pornhub’s average traffic are Super Bowls, Game of Thrones, fake missile threats, political scandals, international music festivals, and, I’m not making this up, Valentine’s Day.

That’s right Day of Love - or if you’re like me, Singles Awareness Day - has a sharper decline in site traffic than any other time of the year. This of course comes from a report by Pornhub taken back in February of 2017, and the level of detail is astonishing. The lowest low for the day was well into the evening at 9 p.m. with their traffic being 17 percent below average at a time when female views were drastically lower than the site's male demographic.

However, no one should be surprised that Pornhub’s traffic falls heavily when it comes to Super Bowls or Game of Thrones episodes. The data collected below is from 2017’s Super Bowl 51 and 2018’s Super Bowl 52. The graph shows that the decline in traffic happens after 3 p.m. in the afternoon and continually goes down with 51’s low being 27 percent below average at 7 p.m. and 52’s low being 28 percent at 9 p.m. It makes sense that the reason for the low traffic is because it's one of the biggest sports events of the year with all the best commercials and movie trailers dropping throughout the game. However, after the game is done, the traffic shoots back up to 9 percent above the average for both Super Bowls.

Now something that’s not as predictable is when political turmoil or ballistic missile threats happen. During former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony on June 8th, 2017 Pornhub’s traffic in the Washington D.C. area was below the average from 6 a.m. until about 1 p.m., the lowest low happening at 10 a.m. when it was at 10.1 percent. However, after the interview it seemed to be business as usual for the site.

But when it comes to ballistic missile threats like the scare that happened in Hawaii last month, most of the world Pornhub almost went dead silent with a sharp drop in traffic with the lowest being 77 percent at 8:23 a.m. The funny thing is that at 9:01 a.m. traffic for the site spiked to about 48 percent above average, which makes me think that was due to all of Hawaii visiting the site.

So my overall question after looking up all of this information is why Pornhub has all of this information readily available. The easy answer to that is for publicity, but come on: it's porn. Of course it’s going to be popular just because of how humans are wired. What I think though is that the reason for Pornhub making this information available is for some weird social science reason. Maybe they are trying to see what affects their traffic in terms of events and trends to see if there can be any kind of correlation to be found. However, that is just my idea of why I think Pornhub does it; for all I know this could just be them bragging by saying, “Look at our traffic! Isn’t it glorious?!” But what do I know?

Sources: Pornhub Insights, Adweek

Images: Pornhub Insights, Venture Beat

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