Studies

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
links, news, traffic

Companies:
facebook



Facebook Sends Lots Of Traffic To News Sites... Will They Start Demanding To Be Paid?

from the just-wait-and-see... dept

With a new report coming out suggesting that Facebook sends more traffic to news sites than Google News, folks like Mathew Ingram are asking if Rupert Murdoch, the AP and others will be complaining about Facebook "stealing" their traffic and demanding to get paid. Given their reactions to Google, it does seem like a reasonable question. Or will that only happen when Facebook is making much more money from its other lines of business, and those news execs get jealous?

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  • icon
    mike allen (profile), 9 Feb 2010 @ 2:13am

    mmm interesting

    As facebook make much less money than google it would be my guess that they will be left alone.
    proving as you say it is jealousy not to protect there copyright.
    perhaps google ad facebook should get together and charge the papers for sending traffic their way.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    The Anti-Mike (profile), 9 Feb 2010 @ 5:00am

    Facebook's intent isn't to "steal" traffic. In reality, what they are going is taking non-news traffic (people visiting facebook) and turning them into news viewers. It isn't like people are cruising facebook to get the local headlines.

    Google on the other hand is doing the opposite, they are taking news traffic, and "getting in the way", hoping to profit from the traffic in one manner or another.

    it is a night and day difference.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 9 Feb 2010 @ 5:40am

      Re:

      Funny, if I go to Google News, I'm not seeing any ads, only links directly to news stories. How, pray, are they "getting in the way" rather than directing me to content?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        The Anti-Mike (profile), 9 Feb 2010 @ 6:46am

        Re: Re:

        When you look at any google page, there are almost always links off in other directions than the news. Example:

        http://news.google.ca/news?q=copyright&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&rlz=1R1GGGL _en___CA350&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wn

        Links off to web search, photo search, to add gadgets to your desktop (selling the Google brand) etc. There are about 20 links off the page that are not news.

        Google gets in the way, trying to give you a "google" experience, and thus get you to also use their other (income earning) properties.

        It's a good business model, but in the end, Google doesn't give the news for free, just at no apparent cost to you.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 9 Feb 2010 @ 7:07am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Wow, so your logic is that by offering links to other pages on the site (which EVERY website does, including the news sites), Google is siphoning off traffic that should be going to another site? That's ridiculous even by your own meagre standards.

          Look at it the other way: for the majority of my non-tech, non-movie news, I tend to browse 2 sites - BBC and The Independent. I sometimes go to Google News to get a quick look at any breaking stories those sites don't have, or to read from a differing perspective. That is, Google directs me to sites I would not otherwise read.

          On the Google News homepage right now (a modified UK layout, if you're interested), most of the main links take me to a site other than the two I normally read. So, by displaying the link to me, there's a chance that the site in question will get a visit they would otherwise have had.

          Again, tell me how this is bad for the news sites? Especially since I constantly use Google's other services anyway, how is my click through onto, say, Reuters' site a bad thing for Reuters?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            The Anti-Mike (profile), 9 Feb 2010 @ 7:13am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Paul, if you operate website(s), you would understand the power of those links.

            If each one of those links represented 0.5% of all clicks on the page, and you have 20 of them, you suck 10% of the traffic off the page. It is important that Google is very much into spreading their brand, and so they do push things like RSS, gadgets, desktops, google start pages (as you mention with your "modified UK layout") etc. They get you to spend more time on their site, and when it comes time for you to do something that would make someone money, google can get in the middle of it.

            If you need someone to point the bricks on your house, you might search in google, because google gave you such nice news, and allowed you to use their stuff for your start page.

            Try not to look at things so literally, look at them in overall "experience". Look at your own activities, as realize that Google has pretty much sucked you in with other people's content. They offer you a service, but that service is never truly free, just without apparent cost to you.

            If you want to have some real fun, check how many google ads you see in a day. It is shocking.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Michael, 9 Feb 2010 @ 7:22am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              You started this by saying Facebook was different. What are you talking about? Facebook is also full of links giving you the "Facebook" experience and taking you away from the new site.

              Are you really arguing that Facebook is intentionally driving traffic to the news sites?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                The Anti-Mike (profile), 9 Feb 2010 @ 7:33am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Nope, that is the point. Facebook isn't intentionally driving traffic to anyone. Facebook doesn't have a seperate "Facebook news" thing, they just have users doing what people do, saying "heck, check out this stupidity" and linking people to things.

                If nobody linked to the news, facebook wouldn't send any traffic to news sites.

                Intent is key.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 10 Feb 2010 @ 11:22am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Good effort to change what you said when someone points out how stupid it is.

                  You said: When you look at any google page, there are almost always links off in other directions than the news.

                  Reality says: Facebook "almost always links off in other directions than the news.

                  Result is: You fail.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 9 Feb 2010 @ 7:32am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I'm confused as to how you think these users are otherwise going to magically find their way to news websites.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 9 Feb 2010 @ 8:11am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The argument is still pathetic. Google are adding value to my experience that the news sites are not (e.g. differing international points of view on subject, customisation of news that's shown to me - e.g. I have zero interest in sport, so I turn off the sports sections). In return for this added value, Google merely give me a route to use their other services.

              These links are not obtrusive, not directly paid for, and do not take revenue away from the news sites unless a person chooses to go to, say, Google Maps instead of CNN. In that case, then surely CNN's content was not that compelling in the first place? If I do choose to click on to CNN, that's a hit (and thus extra potential for ad revenue) that they would not have had if Google's page did not exist.

              Again, I fail to see the problem with this. Google are no more taking away the news sites' revenue than the BBC are taking away CNN's revenue if their links happen to appear side-by-side.

              "as realize that Google has pretty much sucked you in with other people's content"

              No, they didn't. I happen to use Google as my primary search, maps as my primary map application and GMail as one of my major email platforms. My being on Google News has nothing to do with the content there apart from the fact that it's a handy addition. If it wasn't there, I would still use Google's other services in the same proportions I do now, but CNN/Fox/Toronto Star/Reuters/etc. would not have gotten the clicks/ad revenue they received today through my Google News clicks.

              The reason I started using Google as my search provider was the same as many others over the years - they offered a better service. Yeah, you can argue it's built on other's content (i.e. they have to have something to search), but the reason I use Google is that their service is still superior. Ads get to pay for that service instead of my direct payments? Great, If another news aggregator is out there that offers a better service, I may use that. But, even then, I'd continue using GMail until such time as a superior email service comes to my attention... and so on.

              "If you want to have some real fun, check how many google ads you see in a day. It is shocking."

              Not really. I'm a seasoned internet user so ads rarely register with me unless they're annoying. The chances of me clicking through to them are minimal, so I don't really care. The question is this: why have so many content providers chosen to use Google Ads as their ad services rather than its competitors. By that, I'm referring to the sites themselves, not advertisers.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Feb 2010 @ 7:12am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Funny, I see about 500 links to "non-news" on Facebook.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Feb 2010 @ 5:43am

      Re:

      "Facebook's intent isn't to "steal" traffic."

      Really?

      "In reality, what they are going is taking non-news traffic (people visiting facebook) and turning them into news viewers.

      In the anti mike reality.

      "It isn't like people are cruising facebook to get the local headlines."

      yet

      "Google on the other hand is doing the opposite"

      are they turning news viewers into non-news traffic?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Luci, 9 Feb 2010 @ 6:44am

      Re:

      How is Google 'taking traffic'? Are they suddenly republishing the stories on their own? No. They're linking to the stories and sending traffic directly to the news sites. Somehow I don't see how Google's the bad guy, here.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Call me Al, 9 Feb 2010 @ 6:45am

    Sorry if I'm not clear on this but I couldn't see anything on the article about the source of these views beyond being from Facebook. Is it simply a case that people have seen a news article and then linked to it from their profile? Or is there somekind of Facebook news aggregator that I've not come across?

    If its the former then it would be stupid beyond belief for anyone to attack Facebook for this. As Anti-Mike pointed out it is taking a non-news viewer and linking them a news article which is precisely what the papers should want.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    andrew, 5 Nov 2011 @ 4:52am

    share content

    BEST TOOL to submit tech article and share your content http://www.mysensetechnology.com/2010/07/message-for-you.html

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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