August 19, 2015
Facebook has surpassed Google as the largest driver of traffic to news sites, according to new stats from analytics firm Parse.ly.
Parse.ly told Fortune that social networking sites (primarily Facebook) account for 43 percent of traffic to the sites it collects data for while Google accounts for 38 percent. Parse.ly counts hundreds of publishers, including Reuters, Business Insider, Mashable, Wired and Conde Nast, as clients.
Parse.ly CTO Andrew Montalenti told the SocialTimes Facebook’s recent focus in forging relationships with content providers likely accounts for Facebook’s surge in traffic referrals.
“I believe the reason Facebook did this is because they realized that a lot of the interesting conversations happening around the web were happening around major news, media and information, but the user-generated content was not enough to sustain the interest of Facebook’s users population,” Montalenti said.
“Facebook is already providing close to 40 percent of traffic among other referral sources that we’ve identified, and that is only rivaled by Google and search as a channel.”
Google, however, remains the No. 1 traffic driver in search and overall Web traffic referrals.
Still, Parse.ly is not the only analytics firm to see the change in referrals to media site. Chartbeat CEO Tony Haile told Fortune that his firm has witnessed a similar trend.
“When we look at all the sites over our network, a third have more Facebook traffic than Google,” he said. “But when we only look at the largest 20 percent, about half of them have more traffic from Facebook than Google.”