How WageIndicator Grew Up

By Irene van Beveren, WageIndicator VIP-database manager, SEO-specialist

Or how:

  • A big idea in a small country,
  • turned into an ambitious Dutch site,
  • with 80+ successful brother and sister sites across the globe.

WageIndicator started in 2002 with 1 website in the Netherlands. Currently there are over 80 WageIndicator countries with more than 90 sites and still counting. In the figure on this page you will find the growth of visits since 2010. Five years ago there were 48 WageIndicator countries that had 11.6 million visits.

Since 2010 Google changed its search algorithm many times. Best known are probably the major algorithmic updates like the Google Panda and Penguin updates. These updates affected search results in significant ways for many major websites, but not those of WageIndicator. The combined sites of the 80+ WageIndicator countries had 25.5 million visits in 2014 and they will top that in 2015 with an estimated 30 million visits.


What Piece of the WageIndicator Pie Tastes Best?

  • Labor Law pages - including Minimum Wage - 34% of the page views
  • Job and Salary pages are a hub to the Salary Check and Survey
  • Salary Check and Survey page have 18% of the page views


The figures breakdown of annual page views per page type - with recent data from May 2014 until May 2015 - lists the major subjects for 81 countries. More subjects are hidden in the 'Other' category - e.g. Gender Pay Gap, Women Pages, Income Tax, Career Tips and more.

Globally the Labor law section got the biggest chunk of page views with 21%. The section contains 12 pages with sub-pages from Sick leave to Overtime pay and a Global map of Labor Laws. On top of that it includes in more than 25 countries a Collective Bargaining Agreements database, that has been made searchable for local CBA's.

Formally Minimum Wage is part of labor law, but the well visited Minimum Wage pages – the 2nd number best performer with 13% of the page views - have their own place in the lay out of the WageIndicator sites, i.e. not under Labor Law, but under the Salary column. The Job and Salary pages are the hubs to the Salary Check and the Salary Survey.

The Salary Check with its Mini Survey gets 10% of all visits globally, and the extended Salary Survey 2%. 

Calculating a net salary is popular; the Gross Net pages get 8% of the global page views. The VIP pages, with the salaries of celebrities in various categories - Sports, Politics, and Entertainment - get a similar 8% of the page views worldwide. 


Enough traffic for the Salary Survey?

  • The decline of survey page views goes slowly over the years,
  • mainly through steeper competition of a growing number of visitors on the worldwide web,
  • and a bit because of competing content on our own sites.

In the early days of WageIndicator the national sites were meant mainly to attract visitors for the survey. Since then a lot has changed. The sites became more and more a library of labor law, salary and career information, with yet another survey to go for, i.e. the Cost of Living Survey. The number of visits grew on the sites overall, but not for the Salary Survey pages, which are in slow decline.

The competition for the various subjects on the site contributes to this decrease of survey intake, but only a little, as most visitors come through search. It is more likely due to the steep competition of the growing number of global web pages, fighting for the user clicks on the World Wide Web. 

For example: the search query 'pay survey' has about 500 million entries on Google UK and still counting. That was a lot less when WageIndicator started. Some WageIndicator sites rank high in the search entry lists of Google. The search entry 'salary check' scores fairly high for WageIndicator's on Google India. So is the entry 'check my pay', but are that the most important search queries? Plummer’s, dentists and clerks will more likely go for the query 'salary' followed by their profession or vice versa - for example:  'salary plummer', or 'plummer salary'. The Jobs and Salary pages cover those search queries, but they have to compete with impressive competitors, such as, and many other sites of big companies with huge marketing budgets. 

In 2011/2012 WageIndicator did some adwords campaigns; 62% of the page views of the Egyptian site came for the Salary Survey in that year. At the same time almost 50% of the page views of the Tanzanian site were for the Salary Survey. In Peru the same happened a year later.


Conversion Funnel to the Salary Survey

A conversion funnel is a term used to describe the track a visitor takes, while navigating through a website to finally convert to the goal of the site. For WageIndicator an important conversion funnel leads to a filled out survey. For sure WageIndicator has had a lot more filled out surveys since it started in 2002, but as from 2006 we counted 2.7 million completed online surveys!


Content Breakdown per Continent

  • Europe dwarfed by Holland
  • Almost 50% of the Labor Law page views come from the ‘continents’ NIS and Americas
  • Public Sector Salaries compete with Minimum Wages in Africa


The breakdown of annual page views per page type and continent differs from the global overview. The European 24.1 million page views are almost half of the total 53.7 million of all continents, and that is not because there are more countries involved - 66% of the European page views are derived from the Dutch site,, the oldest, most thriving WageIndicator site. 


Gross Net pages are only separately available in 5 of the 29 European WageIndicator countries, with 84% of the page views coming from the Dutch The same accounts for the Job and Salary pages with 4.6 million page views in Europe, by far the most compared to other continents, but with the most page views coming from the Netherlands.


The Salary Check is well visited in Europe with 3.9 million page views. The older European sites have a higher variety of content pages than the younger sites, the same as the NIS-countries, in the graph these pages are called ‘Other’. The NIS-‘continent’ consist of only 5 countries, compared to 29 European countries, but the NIS-‘continent’ has 3 million page views for the Other pages against the 3.9 million in Europe, of which most come from the Netherlands. The NIS-countries have almost the same amount of page views as Europe without the Netherlands.

Within the Other pages are more subjects hidden. The interest in these pages differs from country to country. For example, the news section on salaries on Belarus’ gets 6% of the page views, but news on the Dutch gets 0.7% of the page views.

The special pages for Women get in most countries less than 0.5-1% of all page views, exceptions are some African countries and Guatemala with 5.4% of all Guatemalan page views.

The Gender Pay Gap is also part of the Other section with globally less than 0.5% of the page views. Average salaries articles score high on Belarus’, with 6% of all page views. The articles on wage levels of various professions of the German site get 35% of all German page views.


Career pages from the ‘Other’ section, with tips on ‘How to find a job?’ do well in some countries, like Belarus with more than 4% of the page views. Tips on ‘How to start your own company?’ do well on Uganda’s Africapay site with 11% of the page views and on Egypt’s with 8% of the page views, but less on Dutch with 2.7.

The Homepage is more of a news page in most countries, and especially in the Netherlands. The links on the Homepages are weekly updated with news related items and because of that this page is very well visited.


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