Google is replacing Facebook’s traffic to publishers

New data from Chartbeat show the exact numbers.

Google’s increased traffic to publishers is replacing the traffic publishers have lost from Facebook, according to new data from Chartbeat.

While Facebook has been tinkering with its algorithm to prioritize posts from friends and family over publishers, more publishers have been signing up for the Google publishing format launched in 2015 known as Accelerated Mobile Pages. AMP hosts publishers’ content directly on Google’s servers so it loads faster for mobile users.

During its developer conference this week, Google announced that 31 million websites are using AMP, up 25 percent since October. Google says these fast-loading mobile webpages keep people from abandoning searches and by extension drive more traffic to websites.

The result is that in the first week of February, Google sent 466 million more pageviews to publishers — nearly 40 percent more — than it did in January 2017. Those pageviews came predominantly from mobile and AMP. Meanwhile, Facebook sent 200 million fewer, or 20 percent less. That’s according to Chartbeat, a publisher analytics company whose clients include the New York Times, CNN, the Washington Post and ESPN. Chartbeat says that the composition of its network didn’t materially change in that time.

Last year, we published a similar dataset from digital analytics company, which showed that Google had again become the main source of referral traffic to publishers. Facebook first beat out longtime referral champ Google in 2015.

Referral traffic made up 47 percent of publisher traffic so far this year, according to Chartbeat, with Google and Facebook accounting for most of it.

You can expect Google’s referral traffic to publishers to increase. At the developer conference, Google rolled out AMP for email and AMP Stories, Google’s answer to Snapchat and Instagram Stories that will appear in your search results.

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