Could Facebook Out-Google the Google?

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...Image via CrunchBase

I can't get into great detail on this today, but this story's huge and worth a read:

Ad Age: Facebook Sending More Traffic Than Google to Some Sites

Marketers spend billions to attract search traffic from Google, but
late last year Facebook started becoming a bigger source of traffic for
some large websites, according to analytics firm Hitwise.

…Since the beginning of the year, Facebook has become a bigger
referring site than Google to a        number of sites, including gossip sites and Dlisted, mom site CafeMom, Evite, video site, and, yes, Twitter…

Since the beginning of 2009, gossip site has received
8.7% of its visitors from Facebook, compared with 7.6% from Google,
according to Hitwise. 

I'm not saying Facebook's the Google killer du jour (perish the cliche). But marketers do pay close attention to this. Heck, I do. You know when I started getting really into Twitter? It was when Twitter surpassed Yahoo as the #2 referrer to my blog (behind Google). I suspect some day it will be #1. And that was before I was really into Twitter.

This stuff matters, and I will spend more time writing about this soon, but I welcome your comments in the meantime so we can start a dialogue.

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3 thoughts on “Could Facebook Out-Google the Google?

  1. Thanks for your comments here. What’s really interesting is Facebook
    evolving as a portal and encouraging publishers to take the experience off
    of the network (and thus port the network too). It really does depend what
    kind of site’s going on. Even if five of my friends are talking about their
    new Samsung TV, I’m not buying it until I’m ready to buy it, and then I’ll
    go back and search (but potentially will be influenced by those earlier
    Samsung discussions on Facebook). Yet when a friend shares a link to some
    behind the scenes dirt on some movie I thought looked good, then sure, I’ll
    click to that from Facebook, and there’s a chance I wouldn’t search for it.

  2. Not sure if Google needs to sweat too much just yet. It seems that much like the nature of Twitter, many of its referrals tend to be of-the-moment items (gossip, video, news, etc.). It needs to go real far before it can even think of replacing the at-your-fingertips information provided by a Google search.

  3. While I know you know Facebook won’t kill Google, you cannot argue with how much traffic it can drive to web sites and the power of a recommendation. Twitter is, and has been since I started using it, my second biggest referrer as well, directing over 20% of my total traffic.
    Do you think it will become number #1 over google search and/or direct traffic? I’m hoping for direct traffic because that means I’m doing my ‘job.'(Direct traffic currently leads by less than 1%!).

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