Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) may be seeing its search traffic fall off at a remarkable pace according to some research carried out by Buzzfeed. The web site has, according to the report, seen a huge falloff in links directing users to the Buzzfeed networks from Google search, and a huge rise in links from Facebook.
The Buzzfeed network is a group of around 200 different web businesses, the biggest of which are Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, Daily Mail, Newsweek, DailyBeast, Time, Sports Illustrated, Us Weekly, and Rolling Stone. The sites have a collective audience of around 300 million, and those people no longer seem to be visiting from Google.
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Between August 2012 and March 2013, the numbers of visitors following Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) referrals, the kind that appear on a Google search page, fell by more than 30 percent. The way that people use the web is changing and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) may be feeling the force of that change now.
In the same period, traffic coming from all of the web’s search engines dropped by around 20 percent. Web search is dying, but it seems that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is losing business at a faster rate than any of its competitors. That’s a bad sign, but it’s not something that came to the fore in the company’s most recent earnings report.
According to the Buzzfeed research, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) sent one and a half times the traffic to its site that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) did. It may be that we are on the cusp of a watershed in the way the web works, and Buzzfeed points to a couple of those changes.
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) search traffic has not fallen by more than 30 percent in the last six months. If it had, surely somebody, most likely at Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), would have noticed. The way that people are finding content is changing, and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) may now be in a position to unseat the king of the web.
For articles like those on Buzzfeed, users are following links shared with them by friends rather than searching Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) search and services for the content. Those in charge are also reducing the resources they put into SEO in order to concentrate on building a social brand across its services.
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) loses out on valuable information in this way, but as long as the websites in question continue to use Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) ads, the firm will be all right.