Yellowbook: Facebook Now Top Traffic Source

I had left the room by this point but I was told last night (hearsay) that during the Yellowbook keynote, at the Borrell show yesterday morning, that the following statement was made: Facebook is now the site’s top traffic referrer, passing Google.

This surprised me and I will seek to confirm it directly with Yellowbook. But if correct it’s striking on several levels. It argues that Facebook could become a major traffic source for local publishers (I believe this was via FB Connect).

I don’t know what the quality of leads coming from Facebook would be in this context — although I’m being told by publishers and others using Facebook Ads that the quality and efficacy is good — but the statement above suggests that publishers must more aggressively look to social media for traffic and leads for their advertisers.

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19 Responses to “Yellowbook: Facebook Now Top Traffic Source”

  1. Kyle Kazak Says:

    Greg,

    That is very surprising. I knew Facebook connect would be a large part but I didn’t think that they could pass Google in terms of refers. What does this say about Yellowbook’s SEO, or does this just prove how the viralabilty of something can send massive amount of traffic? Is there any proof that this traffic is more qualified or more prone to click on ads?

  2. Ed Kohler Says:

    I wonder how much the growth in Yelp and Urbanspoon on Google played into this? Both tend to do very well on city and business-specific searches, which puts Yellowbook a bit further down the page.

  3. Tom Wicky Says:

    Interesting – I’d seen that Facebook is starting to outpace G in terms of referrers to some major properties incl. USA Today, Y!, CNN, etc. (see: http://bit.ly/info/cFWgj5 ) but had not heard yet data on YPs. Quality of the leads will be interesting and will come down to how FB can drive queries against a user’s social graph/index vs. random fanpage/rotational chum.

  4. Tom Wicky Says:

    Here’s a better link for the reference above: http://bit.ly/cFWgj5

  5. Steve Cissel Says:

    Isn’t G pushing out the directories in the SERP’s? Make sense that FB becomes the new traffic leader for the YP.

  6. Malcolm Lewis Says:

    Seems odd to me. And I’d take 1 Google click to a dozen FB clicks any day. since I doubt users are performing directed searches on FB. The beauty of a Google user is that they are actively looking for a local product/service, not randomly clicking an ad while browsing social content.

  7. Sebastien Provencher Says:

    I’ve been thinking about this post since yesterday, when I first read it. I have an hypothesis to submit to the group as to why FB is now the top “traffic source” for Yellowbook. When you use Facebook Connect, you actually go to Facebook using their login overlay to get the user credentials and, once accepted, Facebook brings you back to the site using Facebook Connect.

    I suspect we’re confusing “referrer” with “social media optimization”, i.e. Yellowbook is not getting new traffic from Facebook, they get a redirect because of Facebook Connect and it’s showing in their logs. Getting “new” traffic from Facebook is the holy grail but I don’t think that’s what we’re talking about here.

  8. Greg Sterling Says:

    I have emailed Pad Marshall for clarification/comment and am waiting to hear from him.

  9. Matt Says:

    In thinking about Sebastien’s comment, is YB counting traffic twice? Once when the user enters yellowbook.com then again when they login to Facebook and the Facebook connect is counted too for the same user?

  10. Celine Says:

    They are not getting top traffic at least not according to Comscore. I think Sebastian is on target, they have a Facebook login for users who can automatically post their searches on YellowBook on Facebook. For registered users of Yellowbook, they are also running a campaign to get more registered users, so that could be the increase in traffic. In that case is it sustainable without motivating their user base with content and more contests?

  11. Compete: FB Driving More Traffic than Google « Screenwerk Says:

    [...] FB Driving More Traffic than Google By Greg Sterling Coming off my post about Yellowbook’s remark about Facebook being a larger traffic driver than Google there’s this item: According to Web [...]

  12. Is Facebook Becoming More Important Than Google? Says:

    [...] top source for traffic to major portals” raises another empirical question. I heard a similar statement made by a major US yellow pages publisher, Yellowbook, at a conference last week. But in response to that discussion on my blog Screenwerk, [...]

  13. Is Facebook Becoming More Important Than Google? via Search Engine Land « Mash'd! Says:

    [...] heard a similar statement made by a major US yellow pages publisher, Yellowbook, at a conference last week. But in response to that discussion on my blog Screenwerk [...]

  14. Is Facebook Becoming More Important Than Google? | GetMeSEO.com Says:

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  15. Will It Be Google vs. Facebook in Local « Screenwerk Says:

    [...] Greg Sterling Earlier this year at the Borrell local conference Yellowbook executive Pat Marshall made the remarkable statement that the site was getting more traffic from Facebook than from Google. I never was able to get [...]

  16. Technology information Says:

    One of the biggest features on Facebook is the photo. This social networking service is now a ‘host’ world’s largest online photo. This makes up for Facebook to develop their newest features are. Most recently, Facebook will introduce features automatic face detection.

  17. Jarrad H. Says:

    I think eventually Facebook, if they haven’t started already, will find a way to capitalize on this data. I still think there will be a major transition and I don’t think Google will drop out of the picture, but Facebook will start to take a share of the local search scene.

  18. Loci 2010 – Gib Olander | Understanding Google Maps & Local Search Says:

    [...] place in the internet space in general. In February you heard major Local publishers declare that Facebook was the leading source for traffic to their site over Google with Facebook growing at an incredible rate it was only natural that they [...]

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