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Nov 1, 2018

The big comeback of direct traffic

With search & social as the dominant traffic sources for most publishers, direct traffic declined almost everywhere. But since 2017 - when Facebook changed the algorithm in a "news/media unfriendly" way - referrals crashed. For publishers relying on social traffic this was a bloodbath, but others have experienced a rise in direct traffic. With efforts like video formats (check the NYT for example or Bleacher Report & others) and a big comeback of newslettering (even with millenials and gen Z), direct traffic has become the most important traffic source for many publishers again.

Chartbeat confirms this with an interesting observation (on 4000 news pages) - when Facebook was down for 45 minutes on August 3, 2018:

  • direct website traffic went up 11%
  • direct app traffic went up 22%
  • search referral went up 8%
  • overall traffic to publisher sites went up 2.3%


http://www.niemanlab.org/2018/10/what-happens-when-facebook-goes-down-people-read-the-news/