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Search Overtakes Social as Top Traffic Driver to Websites

by Ayaz Nanji  |  
April 2, 2018
  |  2,205 views

Search engines drove more total traffic than social networks to websites in 2017 for the first time in three years, according to recent research from Shareaholic.

The report was based on 2017 Shareaholic data from 400+ million users who visited 250,000+ mobile and desktop sites in a range of verticals, including food, tech, design, fashion/beauty, marketing, sports, parenting, religion, and general news.

Search engines drove 35% of total visits to the sites examined in 2017, and social networks drove 26%.

A major factor in search's overtaking of social as a traffic referrer was a drop in visits driven by Facebook.


Facebook accounted for 31% of visits driven to websites in the first half of 2016, but just 18% in the second half of 2017, the analysis found.


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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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  • by Nick Tue Apr 3, 2018 via web

    No surprise, social has been driving away businesses who have been gaming their algorithm for quite some time. Social now should be utilized in conjunction with search.

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