It’s kinda like a heavyweight fight, only without the really expensive pay-per-view and the sweaty athletes filling your big screen TV.
Search and social media are duking it out for supremacy as the top source of referral traffic to some of the biggest publishers on the web.
New data from Parse.ly — a content analytics platform that counts Reuters, Mashable, Slate, The Next Web and many others among its clients — shows that search retook the lead from social media as the top source of referral traffic in March of this year.
Its publishers saw 32.8 percent of its traffic coming from search that month, compared to 31.2 percent from social media. That’s close to an exact flip of the data from January, when social traffic outpaced search by 32 to 30 percent.
Although search came out ahead in March, the bigger trend isn’t looking good for search traffic. If you go back to Parse.ly’s October 2013 report, search was the dominant source of traffic at 36 percent, compared to only 22 percent for social.
Google sites were still the No. 1 overall source of traffic to Parse.ly’s clients in the most recent reporting period, with Facebook remaining in second — and those two are significantly higher than all other individual sites.