How Content Travels on Facebook vs. Google News

Our sibling blog picked up on a Hitwise Intelligence analysis that found Facebook users tend to traffic news from sites operated by broadcast entities over ones by newspapers.

Though they have entirely different purposes, the study looked at how news and media traffic is directed on Facebook versus Google News. The chart above shows a very different Top 10 list for each, with the latter heavily weighted towards sites run by the top newspapers.

If you read between the lines a bit, what reverberates on Facebook tends to be conversational topics, including the weather (two of the top ten sites).

We suspect that sites like, and Yahoo! News receive the double-bump on Facebook as places to find lifestyle and service journalism, and also as portals for breaking news when something like the earthquake in Chile occurs. The study also notes that while Facebook is a bigger driver of traffic, Google News still sends almost as much traffic to print media websites despite being a much smaller site overall.

The results confirm the need for the PR industry to understand the symbiotic relationship between mainstream news and social networks, and how different types of content is shared, discussed and amplified along the way.