May 23, 2017 - Technology

How Google and Facebook drive internet traffic by topic

Facebook and Google, which together drive the majority of web traffic on the internet, send traffic to different topics, research from digital analytics company shows. Facebook overwhelmingly drives lifestyle and entertainment news traffic, while Google largely drives business, tech and sports news traffic. When it comes to politics, Facebook is more likely to refer readers to presidential political stories, while Google is more likely to refer to stories about state and local politics.

Data:; Chart: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Why it matters: The combined size of Google and Facebook make it nearly impossible for web publishers to reach an audience without their help. But even though they rely on them for traffic, publishers research from Digital Content Next, the trade association that represents premium publishers, finds that platforms drive just 14% of revenue.

Who are the "other" referrers? actively tracks news referrals in a daily-updated referral dashboard. These publishers tend to drive the most traffic to news sites on a daily basis:

  1. Facebook
  2. Google
  3. Twitter
  4. Yahoo!
  5. Google News
  6. Drudge Report
  7. Reddit
  8. Pinterest
  9. Linkedin
  10. StumbledUpon
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