By Spencer Osborne
Once again it is time to look at the weekly web trends for Arena Pharmaceuticals’ (NASDAQ:ARNA) Belviq and Vivus’ (NASDAQ:VVUS) Qsymia. I post this data weekly as a reference for investors. Before getting into the data I want to announce that I will be conducting a radio interview of Belviq patient Ellie Wenker tonight on Playground Radio. Ellie has been taking belviq for a couple of weeks now and is seeing great results. Tune in to Playground Radio tonight to hear about her journey.
This data simply tracks trends on Google and web rankings according to Alexa. Weekly script numbers are telling just part of the story. While the battle at the pharmacy gets the most attention, there is indeed a battle on the web as well. The web battle tells investors about what consumers are doing with Internet searches, and just how popular the web sites for the respective popularity that the drugs offered by these companies are. Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA) and VIVUS Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS) both have websites that directly relate to the anti-obesity drugs Belviq and Qsymia.
As stated, this saga is updated weekly as long as the information remains relevant from an investment perspective. There are two ways that I measure web traction. One is from Alexa.com, a company that ranks sites based on web traffic, and the other is Google Trends, a service that tells us about web searches in general. One important component to bear in mind is that the Qsymia website has been on the market substantially longer than the Belviq site. Traction on the web takes time. First the Alexa data:
Last week we saw the global rank for Belviq.com was 1,149,920. Because the site is new we expect the traction to build and to see improvement in this number each week for several weeks. This week the global rank broke the 1 million barrier and came in at 966,289. This is the first week since launch that this site has been in the top 1 million globally. The goal is to get a site into the top 100,000. It is not an easy task.
The U.S. rank last week was 79,825. This week that metric improved to 67,909
Time on site improved from 2:15 last week to 2:18 this week.
Average pageviews remained the same at 1.8 pages per viewer.
The most important category is reach. This number represents the percentage of the web using population that sees the site. Last week Belviq was at 0.000100%. This week the reach is at 0.000123%. The reach is still increasing, albeit that the pace has slowed slightly.
The Qsymia site is more established and generates more data. Global traffic rank last week was 298,934. This week it improved to 293,688
The U.S. rank saw a gain from 54,882 to 46,216.
Time spent on the site improved from 3:07 to 3:23.
Pageviews remained steady at 2.6.
The reach for the Qsymia site shows a slight improvement from 0.00042% to 0.00048%.
Google Trends gives data on how active a particular search term is. By using Google Trends we can see what type of buzz is surrounding these drugs on the web. As you can see in the 90-day chart below, Qsymia has had more web traction all the way until Belviq launched on June 7th. Upon launch, Belviq spiked above Qsymia. Over the last two weeks, Qsymia has had the advantage over Belviq.
What we are seeing in the trends is that Qsymia and Belviq are virtually neck and neck in web searches, with Qsymia (the drug that has been on the market longer) carrying an advantage. Vivus does pay for a lot of advertising on Google. It would appear that the company sees good results from that advertising, as it does seem to trend higher in the web searches day in and day out.
As a reminder, Belviq patient Ellie Wenker will be the featured guest on Playground Radio this evening at 8:00 PM Eastern. Ellie shares her progress regularly on her website BelviqDaily.blogspot.com. She has already seen magnificent progress by taking Belviq and combining it with a proper diet and exercise. Ellie is an inspiration to others, and a hero because she has the courage to share her story. The radio show will be taking callers, so don’t be shy. The call in number is (347) 934-0239.
In summary, tracking web data can be a valuable tool for investors. It is easy to do, and the data does not spin anything. The results are there in a chart right in front of you. I will be reporting on web traffic data here on Market Playground each week.
Spencer Osborne is a partner in SiriusBuzz.com and SiriusBuzz Premium, a website dedicated to discussion about SiriusXM Satellite Radio. He also writes exclusive articles for Seeking Alpha on a wide range of companies. Osborne brings researched based facets of companies to light that investors may want to consider.