Content Discovery

Content Discovery

Image courtesy of John Linwood



Search drives 41% of the traffic to content pages (articles and video).

Links from other content on publisher sites make up 31% of referral traffic to content pages.

Portal home pages account for 17% of referral traffic.

Social media sites send 11% of traffic to content pages.

THOUGHT: The Outbrain study is compelling because of its massive sample size (100 million sessions across more than 100 premium publishers) but should also be read carefully and applied with eyes wide open. The data is most relevant to heavy publishers of news and entertainment content.

Also, consider the frame of mind of the news consumer within context.

That search should drive so much traffic to content pages should not be surprising on two counts: 1) Most news organizations and professional publishers of content of any kind have figured out by now the importance of search engine optimization, so news content will more likely be found simply by virtue of it having been optimized, and 2) the person arriving at a site through search did so because that site delivered exactly what the searcher was looking for via their query.

Precisely matching content to a search query is going to drive traffic.


As the study points out, people who arrive at one news site as a result of a link from another, are already in a news consumption mode, so they’re likely to consume more of it. A portal such as Yahoo! combines both search and news, so you get both effects.

Finally, the motivation for visiting content as a result of a link within your Facebook or Twitter feed is typically a combination of compelling explanatory text accompanying the link and a trusted source (someone in your personal social network).

The social traffic gets higher bounce rates because there’s more of a chance the content won’t be as relevant to the visitor and because discovery of the link was the result of serendipity rather than the visitor specifically asking for the content, as they would through a search query. The visit is more a result of curiosity rather than demand, and thus the frame of mind of the visitor is completely different.

FOLLOW FRIDAY: Speaking of content discovery….I discovered Amber Carter‘s wonderful An Amber Colored Life blog years ago and have been a fan of her writing ever since. [WATCH my interview with Amber Carter.] She recently finished her first novel, Holiday Chick, which I’m currently reading. Amber [LinkedIn | Twitter | Web] recommends everyone follow fellow blogger Brady GervaisĀ [LinkedIn | Twitter | Web].

Thank you for self-starters.

The e-Strategy Academy covers all aspects of digital marketing including search optimization & marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, video marketing, mobile marketing & public relations.