Facebook users are more loyal to news and media Websites than are visitors from Google News, another sign that the leading social network is a strong driver for traffic beyond its walled garden, HitWise said. These statistics don't mean Facebook is going to suck inordinate amounts of traffic from Google. What it does mean is that the social network of 400 million-plus users is a viable advertising touchstone for advertisers and retailers.
Facebook users are more loyal to news and media Websites
than are visitors from Google News, another sign that the leading social
network is a strong driver for traffic beyond its walled garden.
HitWise surveyed clickstream data
and found that among the top 5 print media Websites in the week ending March
6, 78 percent of Facebook users were returning visitors compared to 67 percent
from Google News.
Visitors to broadcast media sites posted a 77 percent
returning rate for Facebook, compared to 64 percent for Google News.
HitWise analyst Heather Hopkins looked at the percentage of visits by source that
were new versus returning, counting new visitors as those that haven't visited
the site within the past 30 days.
This March 18 chart
shows the average returning rate among the top 5 news print Websites and the
top 5 news broadcast Websites.
For example, Hopkins said 81 percent of visits to CNN.com
in the week to March 6 were returning visitors while 84 percent of visitors to
CNN.com that came from Facebook were returning visitors and 72 percent from
Google News were returning visitors.
While Google.com is the No. 1 source of traffic to these
sites, visitors from Google are less likely to be returning visitors than for
either Google News or Facebook. "This reinforces the long-term value to
News and Media organizations of working with the likes of Google News and
Facebook," Hopkins said.
These statistics don't mean Facebook is going to suck
inordinate amounts of traffic from Google. What it does mean is that the social
network of 400 million-plus users is a viable advertising touchstone for advertisers
If readers keep coming back, they will see more ads. This is good for Facebook, good for the advertiser, and
obviously good for the publisher that is trying to compete for eyeballs and
page views in the cutthroat online news business.
HitWise and its research rival comScore have calculated
some interesting stat about Facebook's growth in popularity and search queries
Hopkins' HitWise colleague Heather Dougherty found that Facebook
Google in the United States to become the most visited Website for the week
ending March 13.
Dougherty also found that Facebook accounted for the most
traffic to location-based social network Foursquare.com.
Facebook accounted for
33 percent of the upstream visits last week. Google and Twitter accounted for
22 percent and 8 percent, respectively. This means Facebook has become a
genuine referral clearinghouse.
Facebook has also become a popular place for search. comScore
said search queries on Facebook grew from 395 million in January 2010 to 436
million in February 2010, a growth of 10 percent.
Again, Facebook's current growth post no immediate threat to Google, Microsoft
Bing or Yahoo, but it's a trend that bears watching as the Internet companies
slug it out for traffic.