With discussion raging around the lack of control publishers have over their traffic, Chartbeat took a look at its data to observe traffic differences since the Facebook algorithm changes were announced in January 2018. Surprisingly, overall traffic to publisher sites has not declined – instead, it’s remained steady.
As Chartbeat explained earlier this year, referral traffic from Google Search is up, due primarily to increased traffic from mobile, and more specifically from pages that use AMP. They also wrote about the emergence of a new browser-based referrer – Google Chrome Suggestions – which is up 21x since January 2017 as a traffic referrer for publishers. Now, they’re seeing another trend.
In short, Chartbeat’s latest data shows that mobile readers are arriving at a site (website or app) directly to the homepage or section front more often than from attributed social platforms, namely Facebook.
Mobile direct traffic surpassing Facebook traffic to publisher sites is an important milestone. It means consumers may be more loyal to news sites than expected, and publishers may be in a better position vis-a-vis Facebook as well.
The full scope of Chartbeat’s research can be viewed here.