REPORT: Facebook Rules 1Q Referral Traffic

Shareaholic1Q2014Chart650Facebook continued to dominate referral traffic in the first quarter of 2014, according to a study of more than 300,000 websites reaching over 400 million unique monthly visitors by Shareaholic.

Shareaholic found that Facebook drove 21.25 percent of overall traffic received by the sites it studied in March, and the social network’s share of traffic was up 38 percent compared with December 2013. The company added on the subject of Facebook:

While brands enjoy hating on Facebook for limiting the reach of pages and then forcing businesses to pay for ads, Facebook still continues to refer loads of traffic to websites when users share links they enjoy with all of their friends. Although Eat24 caused a ruckus last month because it initiated a “breakup” with Facebook, brands will never be bold enough to actually prevent users from liking or sharing things from their sites to Facebook. Eat24′s popular breakup letter received more than 26,000 Facebook likes and shares. While most brands may have lost faith in their fan pages, they know the world’s largest social network will still bless them with tons of organic traffic.

When it came to other social networks, Shareaholic’s findings included:

  • Pinterest cemented its hold on second place, with its share of referral traffic rising 48 percent since last December. Its 7.1 percent share of referrals in March was “orders of magnitude” greater than those of the other six social networks studied by Shareaholic.
  • Twitter held steady at around 1 percent of referral traffic, reaching 1.14 percent in March, up 1.59 percent compared with December 2013.
  • Reddit did not see its numbers move at all, remaining at 0.21 percent.
  • YouTube fell to 0.09 percent of referrals in March, down more than 52 percent since last December.
  • Google Plus edged ahead of LinkedIn for seventh place, gaining 53 percent since December 2013 to reach 0.08 percent, while LinkedIn fell 21 percent, to 0.04 percent.

Readers: Did any of the findings by Shareaholic surprise you?

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