Social Media Drives Significant Web Traffic to Trending Stories According to Analysis

November 26
1:48 AM 2015

Nowadays, we get more news from online sources rather than local newspaper., a publishing analytic company reported that social media has become more important to drive web traffic on top stories of the 2015.

Venture Beat reported that tracks and analyzes the site traffic of more than 400 publishers, including Business Insider, Reuters, The Atlantic, and New Republic. The result shows that social media drove large number of referrals for some news. evaluate the search traffic from Google, Yahoo and other search engine, then compare them to social media traffic from Facebook and Twitter. is a company that provides web analytics and content optimization for digital publishers. It provides analytic platform for digital publisher to analyze insight of audience.The New York-based tech company also provides Dash for large publishers, together with their original product Reader.

According to, its team identified the top seven news events based on the most-read stories in its network. The data is normalized to prevent larger site dictating the trend. also notice that digital publishing industry has been so focused on the growth of social as a medium for news distribution at the expense of search. Therefore, it wanted to see whether it is true or not.

The result shows hot stories that went viral automatically spike social media traffic. Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack and Bobbi Kristina Brown, are some stories that gained social media attention. The source of traffic for those stories shows significant differences between social media and search. Social media referral on Charlie Hebdo reach 17% while search made 11%. On Bobbi Kristina Brown, social media traffic reach 26% and 22% from search. For stories that went viral in social media with limited search engine traffic like Cecil de Lion and Ahmed Mohamed, commented, "because there was virtually no organic traffic coming from search engines, it died out quickly."

Search engine still become the major source of information for people, while social media become more important as the news went viral. Recent event in Brussels as reported by  Fox News regarding the city's lockdown shows the importance of social media. As Brussels' authority request social media blackout from the residents, they complied to request. Instead, citizens use cat pictures with  #BrusselsLockdown hashtag to confuse the terrorists who often uses social media for information.

The increasing impact of social media has made them important to drive web traffic. On the other hand, search engine still plays a major role as major source of information for most people.

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