Google outperforms Facebook as 2017 top referral traffic driver

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Credit: https://venturebeat.com/2018/02/22/shareaholic-search-overtook-social-for-referral-traffic-in-2017-as-google-passed-facebook/

Google outshined Facebook as the top traffic referral driver in 2017, a new Shareaholic data has revealed. The search giant probably outperformed the social networking giant after Facebook overhauled its News Feed in 2017; a move that affected traffic flow for many users.

According to Shareaholic, per VentureBeat, search drove 34.8 percent of visits to sites as against 25.6 percent from social in 2017. Search engine was able to achieve this feat by indexing more and more social content. This, according to the report, was not done purely for the purpose of ranking sites, but adding it directly in search results. What this means is that users do not have to rely on search features in social networks and continue to depend on their favorite search engine—and we all know how popular Google is with most users.

Though, Google gained a lot in the change in trend, other search engines were also not left out as they benefited from the decline of social traffic. The decline of social was a major stepping stone for the impressive results achieved by search engines as a whole. The trend is expected to continue in 2018 as Shareaholic predicts that search will remain the largest traffic driver.

Despite losing its leading position to search in 2017, Facebook maintained its number one position in socials. The data showed that Instagram and Pinterest are both giving Twitter a push—with Instagram in particular bot far from outshining the microblogging platform.

While YouTube, Flipboard, and LinkedIn gained some market share in 2017, the same cannot be said of Twitter, StumbleUpon, BuzzFeed, Reddit, Yummly, Google+, and Tumblr, all declining during the same period in review.

Credit: https://venturebeat.com/2018/02/22/shareaholic-search-overtook-social-for-referral-traffic-in-2017-as-google-passed-facebook/

My take: While share continues to gain the upper hand in terms of driving more traffic to your site, it won’t be a wise decision to write off social due to current situation as things could yet change in no time.

Last July, Facebook announced a new algorithm change that enabled it bury spammy links in a way only few people could see them. The emphasis was placed on giving priority to more informative links. This was to the detriment of those links posted by suspected spammers—such links, according to Facebook, will be accorded less priority in the News Feed.

The reason for the change was to push links suspected to have been posted by spammers to the background, while those with useful information will be accorded priority. According to Facebook research, such links [spammy links] “tend to include low quality content such as clickbait, sensationalism, and misinformation.” This move is aimed at according less priority to clickbait, fake news or misinformation, and sensationalism. Ultimately, users will be able to access quality news and information on the network.

Facebook is quiet on what constitutes such news [spammy or low-quality information/news] in this case, but priority was indeed accorded to links posted by credible websites and individuals. However, the company is quite clear in terms of volume of post either from individuals or website.


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Author: Ola Ric

Ola Ric is a professional tech writer. He has written and provided tons of published articles for professionals and private individuals. He is also a social commentator and analyst, with relevant experience in the use of social media services.

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