Sunday, August 23, 2015

Facebook Sending More Traffic Than Google

Even though Google is still the single most-viewed website in the world, it isn't the number one site for everything, particularly driving traffic to media sites. No, that title belongs to Facebook according to analytics from Parse.ly.  Yes, that's right, Facebook is still attempting to dominate literally every facet of our lives in hopes of becoming the leader of our future AI overlords....

According to the report, Facebook accounted for almost 43% of traffic to its network for media sites. This network, mind you, includes over 400 outlets like Mashable, Reuters, and The Atlantic. According to the numbers from Parse.ly, Facebook sends 6 billion page views and over 1 billion unique visitors their way. Google, on the other hand, only drove 38% of traffic to media sites.

Now don't get confused, Google is still the top referral source in terms of search and overall web traffic referrals. However, Facebook has the edge when it comes to referrals to media sites. The importance of Facebook as an online media traffic driver has increased exponentially over the last year and a half. Back in January 2014 Facebook only accounted for 20% of all traffic to its network of media sites. This figure has doubled in the last 18 months.

This increased importance as a traffic driver for Facebook shouldn't really surprise anybody, especially media sites. Many media sites closely monitor traffic and where that traffic originated from. As Facebook's user base has increased (there are currently 1.49 billion users and counting) so has its power as a platform for content distribution.


If you remember Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's long-stated goal for Facebook, which is "To build the perfect personalized newspaper for every person in the world", you'll see that all of this fits together nicely.

This is why Facebook introduced Instant Articles back in May. Instant Articles has Facebook hosting optimized content from publishers like the New York Times, NBC, Buzzfeed, BBC News and The Guardian. A lot of this content is presented natively through Facebook's mobile app (for the iPhone, at least) as opposed to requiring users to click on an outside link.

Facebook has yet to share with the world how Instant Articles are performing so far with users, or even if any money is working its way around. Though third-party data, like that from Parse.ly, is further fuel for Facebook's campaign fire that suggests that online publishers need Facebook if they want to reach the largest possible number of users, whether we (the consumers) like it or not.

Content originally published here

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