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Hitwise: Facebook Visitors Are Regular Newshounds

   
3:38 pm on Mar 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Hitwise: Facebook Visitors Are Regular Newshounds [weblogs.hitwise.com]
A few weeks ago when I posted my blog entry about Facebook being the largest news reader I received a few comments and emails noting that visitors aren't as valuable if they don't come back. Advertisers and retailers need some assurance that visitors will return again and again.

Hitwise data indicate that visitors from Facebook are more loyal to News and Media websites than are visitors from Google News. In particular, among the top 5 Print Media websites in the week ending March 6, 2010, 78% of Facebook users were returning visitors compared to 67% from Google News. The figures are almost identical for Broadcast Media, with a 77% returning rate for Facebook compared to 64% for Google News.
7:07 pm on Mar 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

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The flaw in that study is that someone on Facebook is already online checking messages, updating family albums and/or playing some sort of 'ville game when they click on a link to see what's on the news.

In comparison someone going to google is actively looking for something specific at that moment in time.

It may very well be that media will get a more attentive audience from social networks (people who actively hang out online) but to say that retailers should switch their advertising attention to Facebook from Google is probably not a great idea imo.

Advertisers and retailers need some assurance that visitors will return again and again.

Retailers need assurance that visitors will return again and again WHEN they want to purchase a product or service. Visitors from search engines (not sure why the study targeted just Google) are already actively engaged in the chase and are less likely to be just casual browsers.
8:09 pm on Mar 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Excellent point, Harris. It has always been thus with news. Context is the key. Many of the visitors to google and google news are looking for something. As a marketing tool, it's going to be difficult to say Facebook = search.

But, then, the web needed a channel to marketers to use to reach out to people who were not searching for you. "Hey, you!" marketing. That's the stuff that's really annoying. And, when it works, really profitable. But, it often does not work.
10:36 pm on Mar 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

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But GOOG *Reader* isn't search though it's a close neighbor or sibling joined-at-the-hip of search, so to compare GOOG Reader or GOOG News to FB on the basis of =search isn't quite an analogy

A browser, after all, has a search bar at the top, no matter which web page is visited.

FWIW I carry not only family and friends on my FB page, but also news feeds from Techcrunch, Arstechnica, several software sources such as sourceforge, several "causes" such as EFF and charitywater, and so on.
12:42 am on Mar 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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3...2...1 Cue the whistling past the grave yard, 'the study is wrong', 'Facebook can't have had more visitors', 'Google would never lose out to a silly social media hub', etc....

Can't wait till next year when its even more apparent that the Google high water mark is more evident.
12:55 am on Mar 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Its not a popularity debate, but I do whistle when I turn on my computer to perform a search for a good price on products.
I'd fight with you about our apparent difference of opinions frontpage but unfortunately my facebook mafia is still level 1. :-)
9:53 am on Mar 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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It looks to me that they are comparing either Google search, or Google News (which is also a search engine), or the whole Google mix with the entire Facebook mix which includes fan pages etc.

Google helps you find stuff, Facebook helps you track your favourite stuff. Which do you expect to produce more repeat visitors.
11:52 am on Mar 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Here is the relevant info:

According to the web monitoring site Hitwise.com, Facebook.com got 7.07 % of all Internet traffic for that week, while Google.com got 7.03%.

That marks a market increase of 185% for Facebook compared to the same week last year, but just a 9% jump for Google.


As for the claims that it was games on Facebook that artificially pumped up the stats by refreshes, then would be wrong.

What was counted was hits on the Facebook index page.

Facebook’s home page recorded 7.07 per cent of traffic and Google’s 7.03 per cent.


Facebook is sticky and it has ads. More eye time on a non-Adsense ad venue.

US users spent nearly six-and-a-half hours on Facebook compared with fewer than two-and-a-half hours on Google.


Google's answer? Buzz.
2:58 pm on Mar 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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@frontpage, that the other Facebook vs Google story from Hitwise
3:25 pm on Mar 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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the article referred to in the OP specifically compares news.google.com rather than google.com vs facebook.com.
5:59 pm on Mar 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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The article from the OP suggests retailers needs can be better met on facebook too.

Facebook is having little success outside of local ads.

Facebook is a major player for attention and eyeballs but is no pure threat to Google when it comes to returns on retailer ad spend.
2:25 pm on Mar 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Im sure that outside of fanpages for some industry blogs that Facebook is my prime source of news, i use Twitter, Linkedin and Google News for most of my resources
 

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