There is a big debate as to whether social media or search engines are dominating website referral traffic. The issues with the internet are that when we search for something we want to believe, we can find a persuasive argument that will convince us of the truth that we want rather than the actual truth. The only sure-fire way to know is research.
Most research has suggested that social media had overtaken search engines – namely the battle between Google and Facebook being the most competitive pair up out there.
Social Media Was Closing Gap
There was a point in which social media was closing gap according to a reliable source Marketing Charts. This was reported ay back in 2013. The social media report used information from the trustworthy and reliable Shareaholic research team. At this time social media was catching up with 30% of the market share, which these results came from a sample orientated market research project.
The issues here is that many businesses believed that this meant that social media was already overtaking search engines in the search referral charts. However, that has not been the case. Social Media has just been catching up with search engines, but it has never actually overtaken search engines when it comes to traffic referrals.
Social Media has largely been helped by using services that help people build up their social media accounts with likes and followers in order to gain more trust.
With so many people following a particular account or page, more people are inclined to visit any website associated with that account. This is why popular services such as France’s biggest likes and followers service ‘Acheter des Followers Website’ have become so popular, and arguably these types of multi-language services have helped social media sites gain traction and persuade people to read more by referring them to websites that appear very popular.
However, despite the massive upsurge for social media over the last few years, that trend has been slowed. Possibly because social media giants such as Twitter and Facebook have been forced to cut down on fake news, which may have worked in favour of the search engines.
People were madly clicking through to news websites after seeing headlines on social media that were, in fact, fake news made to look real. Without this traffic adding to the ‘Social Media to Website’ click ratio as of late, it seems search engines have gained in the war of stats.
Search Engines Appear To Ramain The Main Source of Web Traffic
Now there is not much recent research out there that can exactly confirm this, but we have found reports from Shareaholic that still confirm search engines are dominating search referrals.
Before we continue, there is one key point that you need to take into account.
There are so many parameters every study uses when it comes to search stats. Just take a look at the Shareaholic blog. You can see just how many different ways research studies are conducted.
The main blog you will find here that suggests that Google is still on top of its game is the one that comes from Craig Zevin on Feb 22, 2018. OK, so this report is well over a year old, but it shows that search engines are still the number one source of website traffic for the time being.
If you are looking for a report more recent than this proving that search engines are still the dominant force, then you can go straight to a website that makes it its business to keep an eye on search engine traffic, algorithms, and so on. The Search Engine Land blog walks yours through some of their own sample research of 4,000 respondents and the results that they found show that an overwhelming number of people use search engines to find data and look at website compared to social media.
So What Can We Believe?
These blogs are not out there to pull the wool over your eyes or cheat you with misinformation, just like our blog is not here to do that either. What would the point in that be anyway? Clickbait is a good answer of course. However, clickbait on the subject of social media versus search engine search is a legitimate subject to get people to read about this subject, so why not use it?
All that matters is that the information within the article or blog that you read is accurate and not fake. For example, we have merely brought up a popular subject and given you referrals to other sites that have been talking about this topic for a number of years. Some of these websites have done their own research; while others have reported on data provided by other websites and research companies, then expanded on the research by giving their opinion.
At the moment it seems we can believe that search engines are still driving more traffic to websites compared to social media. However, there may be other sites out there that contradict the research we have given you, and kudos to you for finding any contradicting data because that is exactly what you should be doing when you are searching for the facts.
Please feel free to expand on this by leaving any comments you have on this subject. We welcome all opinions.