In 2015, Toldot.ru's website statistics steadily improved in an expected manner: the total number of page views increased to 14 million; daily, there were nearly 40,000 articles read and/or materials downloaded! If a visitor would learn one page (amud) of Talmud per unique visit to our website, the entire Talmud (Shas) would be learned more than seven times daily and more than 2,500 times yearly!
Let's break down the otherwise boring statistics into the top 5 (or even top 10) leading areas of our website and the most popular materials in each of them:
- Among our numerous articles, the surprising leader with more than 16,000 views this year came out to be…Text for morning prayers (shacharis). Following very closely in 2nd place was Traditional Jewish Clothing.
- «Ask the Rabbi» is one of our most popular forums, much due to its intrigue and emotionally-charged nature. Among all of the Q&A's, the most-viewed came out to be What Happens to the Soul After Death? with 54,000 views. And, not surprisingly, Why are Jews so Hated? with 31,000 views.
- Audio lectures — understandably, these calm and classic lectures are popular among individuals who regularly learn through our website. Rabbi Kushnir's Secrets of Family Happiness and Fundamentals of Childrearing were listened to 15,000 times (we see that if one successfully grasps the first theme, he/she can smoothly and naturally go on to the second.)
- Additionally, it would be hard for this report not address the Video section, which has come far this year greatly thanks to regularly recorded and uploaded webinars. This year's top webinars were the Hebrew Language series, each of which had 10,000 views; also popular were Rabbi Kushnir's webinar, How to Have a Healthy Argument; and Rebbetzin Tzipporah Haritan's webinar for women, Nurturing One's Femininity.
- The Jewish Surnames forum is one of the most popular on the website; it's viewed by up to 2,000 people per day! The top surname searches this year were Yudin and Abramov; each one had 5,000 times!
- Family is definitely the area of life that lends itself to unusual and interesting situations that keep us on our toes. Our family counselors answer questions from readers and publish them as Q&A's in a forum. The most popular Q&A's this year, with 5,000 views each, were «Can I slap my children on their behind?» and «Which prayers can I read so that my son gets better and doesn't get sick in the future?»
The website's most active readers are individuals between 19-45 years old. 45% of our total viewers live in Russia, 20% in Israel, 14% in Ukraine, 7% in Germany, and the others hail from the US, Canada, and Western Europe.
Nearly every modern internet-user owns a Smartphone and/or a tablet. Last year, approximately 25% of our readers used a mobile browser, and this year, the number increased to 33%. On desktops, Google Chrome leads with 47% of users, Firefox follows with a mere 9.2%, Opera (popular in Russia and the former USSR states) is next with 6.8%, and the leader of the past, Internet Explorer, lags behind with only 4.6% of users.
The number of viewers who visit our website by directly typing in «www.toldot.ru» is an astounding 47%. This means that the website has engendered a core readership that may very well live by the following daily rule: «Read the news headlines, check; browsed the Facebook feed, check; got some spiritual food for the day on Toldot.ru, check.» 44% of viewers find our website by searching key words, which are as varied as they come. A sample includes «Kabbalah,» «Jewish family,» «Jewish prayers,» «Jewish Bible,» «Jewish calendar,» «Transitioning into adulthood,» and even «How to act after the wedding night?»
Among search engines, Google is the leader with 79% of users, followed by the popular Russian search engine Yandex with 18%. 9% of users reached our website through links posted on various social media platforms, the leader of which is obviously Facebook. Other popular sites are InContact (Вконтакте), LiveJournal, and Odnoclassniki (Одноклассники), all of which have had to relinquish a large chunk of their users to the young Mark Zuckerberg.
Many of our blogs also have a popular following: Gadi Pollack, with his insightful and witty commentary; Mendel Agranovich, with his short, Talmudic video clips; Itta Minkin, with her extraordinary stories; R'Aryeh Leib, with his clear expounding of the laws of lashon hara; and Bracha Guberman, with her subtle and memorable essays.
Despite the ability of our viewers to listen to and watch lectures online, many prefer to download files to their laptops or mobile devices. They download hundreds and thousands of lectures from our various media forums. Our most popular lecturers are Rabbi Asher Kushnir, Rabbi Moshe Pontelat, Rabbi Reuven Pitegorskiy, Rabbi Chaim Burstein, Rebbetzin Chava Kuperman, Tzipporah Haritan, and Esther Offengenden. Jewish songs, especially Chassidish niggunim, are also downloaded often. When one is doing something that doesn't require much concentration, it can be very pleasant to listen to the Russian-Jewish radio.
Summing up the statistics, we can confidently note the web audience's growing interest in Jewish traditions, history, and culture. Hundreds of Russian-speaking Jews learn b'chavrusa through our Talmud Online program; thousands receive advice and help through contacting us directly; many purchase books and other Jewish items in our online Jewish Bookstore; and numerous readers give maaser through our Chesed page, thereby helping families who are poor, who have many children, or who are sick.
Next year, we will again be happy to encourage an even stronger readership by continuing to provide fascinating lectures, witty and sensitive Q&A's from our rabbis and family counselors, melodious songs, and exciting and diverse blogs. And now, this probably where any standard yearly summary would end…but, since we are constantly trying to think out-of-the-box, our 2016 plans include a lineup of amazing surprises. They're coming very soon… visit our website regularly so as not to miss out!