Google or Facebook? Which is the Nation’s ‘Front Page?’


How do you get your news online? Google or Facebook?

The New York Times’ Upshot conducted a study of 350,000 websites in the Shareaholic network which get 400 million unique visitors a month. What they discovered was a dramatic change in consumer behavior that will get the attention of anyone trying to communicate in a crowded media environment undergoing dynamic change. In the course of their study, The Upshot found that “last summer 40 percent of traffic came from search engines and 14 percent came from social networks. This summer, about 29 percent of traffic comes from each.”

Using BuzzFeed as a case study, The Upshot found that at the “beginning of last year, Google and Facebook sent the same amount of traffic to the Shareaholic sites. By the end of the year, Facebook sent 3.5 times as much traffic as Google.”

The data confirms what we see anecdotally every day, the most impactful stories are those that are shared peer-to-peer and not simply those under the masthead of the nation’s largest publications. The advantage of large institutional players that have the best search engine algorithms is giving way to compelling content that engages people and motivates them to share with their social networks.

Simply put, you no longer need to tailor every PR strategy for the biggest media players, but design it to be compelling enough to be “shareable” by individuals with influential networks on social media platforms. Adjusting to this change will be key to success for those in the PR industry navigating this new media landscape.

Read the New York Times article here.