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BizReport : Social Marketing : March 10, 2009

Hitwise: Facebook driving traffic to websites

New traffic data from Hitwise found that, for some websites, Facebook is doing just a good a job as Google at referring traffic - in some cases it's performing better.

by Helen Leggatt

hitwise.jpgFor as long as the Internet has been around, search has been the most common referrer, in particular the web's behemoth Google. Now it looks like they have a challenger in the unlikely form of social networks.

Hitwise recently reported that nearly 9% of gossip site's traffic was referred, not by Google which represented 7.62%, but by Facebook. It seems that referrals from social circles are becoming the jumping-off point for finding information online.

That's not surprising when one considers the plethora of research that points to the importance of word-of-mouth and peer-generated content. Plus, when you look at the sites that are getting their largest share of traffic from Facebook they are entertainment and gossip-based, topics that are much-discussed on social networks.

Video sites, in particular, are finding much traffic coming from Facebook because their content is being linked to and shared among networks of friends. According to an article on, Facebook users share 28 million pieces of content, including links, blog posts and photos, each month. This February, Facebook drove over 3.3% of all U.S. traffic to online video sites.

CafeMom, Dlisted, Evite and are all sites that Hitwise found to have more traffic referrals from Facebook than Google.

Tags: entertainment, Facebook, Google, gossip, Hitwise, peer-generated,, referral, search, social network, traffic, video sites, word-of-mouth

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  • I have been trying to drive traffic with twitter facebook myspace etc and it really seems overrated so far... hardly any traffic.. can someone tell me how long a social media campaign should take to drive, say even 500 uniques a month? or even 250 uniques a month? and how many manhours per week should you expect to spend on this to achieve? if someone can give me some advice on this I would greatly appreciate it!



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