An average of 40% of the traffic to the top 25 news websites arrives from outside referrals, the study found, with Google Search the single biggest driver, accounting for 30% of all traffic.
But social media – and Facebook in particular – is increasingly becoming a major driver of traffic to the top news websites.
On five of the top 25 websites, Facebook was the second or third biggest driver of traffic. The Facebook Open Graph API is clearly having an effect on global news sharing and dissemination, with the ‘like’ button now permeating cyberspace.
Archive for the 'google' Category
If you pitch an idea or a project to Larry and Sergey, their feedback is quite easy to anticipate. They’ll tell you you have to solve the problem in a more generic way. I tried to sell them on data communities, a place where like minded people could collaborate on structured data around topics they’re interested in. The feedback was predictable: why restrict yourself to communities? And why to structured data? Come up with something that solves everything!
The company also reported a 32 percent jump in page views on its owned and operated sites. That’s especially notable considering that some had said traffic from Google to Demand Media’s eHow site had fallen as much as 50 percent in the wake of Google’s changes, which were designed to penalize sites with low-quality content. The company is however taking steps to change the content mix on its sites, unveiling three initiatives to improve the quality of the content it showcases.
Google Arabia announced in a blog post today the search engine’s most recent localized feature for Muslims which provides City specific Islamic Prayer Times highlighted immediately in the results page, kind of.
Muslims pray 5 times a day according to the position of the sun in the sky, which means times shift throughout the year according to the change in the day’s duration.
In my latest article for Harvard’s Nieman Lab, I interviewed a spokeswoman from Google News about how social media data is slowly being introduced to its search results:
I spoke with Jeannie Hornung, a spokesperson for Google News, about the various ways Twitter and other social media platforms are used by the aggregator. She pointed first to the “Most Shared” section, found on the right sidebar near the bottom of the main page. At the time of this writing, it displays headlines from a mixture of blogs and more traditional news outlets and allows you to sort the most popular stories by day, week, and month. (Only news outlets that are among the 50,000+ aggregated by Google News are included.)
But “most shared” in what way? While Hornung confirmed that Twitter was one of the signals used in this section, she said she couldn’t comment on the others. But the feature includes a drop-down menu allowing one to share these stories on various platforms — email, Google Reader, Twitter, Facebook, and Google Buzz — and so it wouldn’t be too presumptuous to assume that many of these platforms are used in the algorithm, as well.
Yesterday a US district court judge rejected the Google Books settlement the search giant negotiated with the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers. While most news outlets are covering the copyright angle of the ruling, the judge’s opinion had some interesting quotes on whether Google has a monopoly status:
The settlement “would give Google a significant advantage over competitors, rewarding it for engaging in wholesale copying of copyrighted works without permission, while releasing claims well beyond those presented in the case.”
The settlement “would give Google a de facto monopoly over unclaimed works. Only Google has engaged in the copying of books en masse without copyright permission.” (p.36)
The settlement “would arguably give Google control over the search market…Google’s ability to deny competitors the ability to search orphan books would further entrench Google’s market power in the online search market.” (p.37)
This ruling comes as the DOJ is still mulling over whether to allow Google to purchase travel industry data company ITA. The government agency was expected to make its decision as far back as January, and the fact that they’re taking this long indicates they’re very seriously weighing the anti-trust implications of such a deal. While it’s not clear that the district court judge’s ruling would have any sway on the DOJ investigation, I wouldn’t be surprised if it were taken into consideration. Will Fairsearch.org and the other companies opposing the ITA deal use the Google Book ruling in their PR and lobbying campaigns?