This week’s most stunning statistic: In February, Facebook drove more traffic to the Guardian web site than Google did. This fact was proffered (I couldn’t bring myself to write shared) at the Changing Medias Summit Conference by Tanya Corduroy, Guardian’s director for digital development (full text of her speech):
Eighteen months ago, search represented 40% of the Guardian’s traffic and social represented just 2%. Six months ago – before the launch of our Facebook app – these figures had barely moved.
A recent Pew report echoed these figures, revealing that just 9% of digital news consumers follow news recommendations from Facebook or from Twitter. That compares with 32% who get news from search.
But last month, we felt a seismic shift in our referral traffic. For the first time in our history, Facebook drove more traffic to guardian.co.uk than Google for a number of days, accounting for more than 30% of our referrer traffic. This is a dramatic result from a standing start five months ago.
She made her point with a graph showing the crossing of the two traffic lines, even though the Facebook referrals now appear to be receding: