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Published by Kevin O'Keefe, CEO & Founder of LexBlog

Social more important than Google for law blog traffic?

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August 14, 2014

Who would have thought even a couple years ago that social media may be as important as Google in drawing traffic to your law blog. After all, eight or nine years ago we said BLOG stood for “Better Listing On Google.”

Reading an interview of BuzzFeed’s co-founder and chief executive, Jonah Peretti (@peretti), by The New York Times’ Claire Cain Miller’s (@clairecm) was a real eye opener on the importance of social media for law bloggers.

BuzzFeed, an entertainment and news-focused Internet media company founded eight years ago, has experienced huge growth the last couple years because they move their stories on social media, as opposed to relying on search traffic. So much so that the company is now valued at over $800 million based on a recent investment of $55 million.

Peretti’s message to Miller was that the source of traffic to news, information, and media sites is shifting from search to social. A year ago, readers were much more likely to come to media sites from search engines, but now they are increasingly likely to come from social networks.

The numbers from the Shareaholic network, whose 350,000 client sites get 400 million unique visitors a month are stunning. Last July 13% of the traffic came from social and 41% came from search. This June 31% of the traffic came from social while 29% came from each search.

That’s a 140 percent increase in traffic from social with social trending to be more important than Google in drawing traffic to media, news, and information sites.

Perreti told Miller that going forward BuzzFeed is going to focus on quality content and content that people want to share on social media. To some extent they are one in the same as people are not going to share with people who trust them content that’s not valuable.

Peretti calls Facebook the “new ‘front page’ for the Internet.” Rather than people searching for everything they need, content is bubbling up in front of them socially. Content shared by people with like Interests and usually in the same social strata.

It’s easy to see why Peretti singles out Facebook. On Shareaholic sites Twitter accounts for 1 percent of social traffic compared with 23 percent from Facebook.

Though a media company such as BuzzFeed is sharing content that’s a far cry from a blog post on a SEC ruling, the message applies. People in the social circles of lawyers are extremely active on social. That includes other lawyers, bloggers, business leaders, clients, prospective clients, you name them. These folks share what they read – and a lot of what they read is on business and the law.

Sure, Google remains important. But going forward you ought to be spending more time looking at how you can increase traffic to your blog from social media than from Google.