Move over, Yahoo! You are no longer top dog – or, more accurately, fourth dog from the top – when it comes to organic Internet traffic, according to a new report released today. Instead, that place has been taken by social site Pinterest, continuing its growing importance in not only the social space, but the online space as a whole.
The news came via a blog post from Shareaholic, which noted that Pinterest sent more traffic than Yahoo in the month of August, and as such became the fourth largest traffic source in the world for the month. “While it is still far behind both Google organic, direct and Facebook referral traffic with an undetermined business model, Pinterest continues to send more traffic each month to our network of publishers,” the blog post explained, adding that “Since May, Pinterest traffic has more than doubled in size.” That last fact seems even more surprising when coupled with the news that, since January, traffic for the three of the other dominant traffic sources online – Google, Bing and Yahoo! – had dropped on average by 15.63 percent.
Shareaholic’s reporting shows that, while Pinterest’s percentage of traffic source rose from 1.38 to 1.84 between July and August, almost every other referral source listed – with the exception of direct traffic – fell for the same period, with Google losing more than 3 percent of its share during that period (Going from 44.76 percent in July to 41.28 percent). Other losses were considerably lesser – Yahoo!, for example, only dropped from 1.47 percent to 1.37 percent, and Facebook from 6.06 percent to 5.9 percent). Whether or not this demonstrates something other than a growing awareness and usage of Pinterest – For example, a different demographic using the site that isn’t prey to whatever trends are influencing more established social networks or traffic sites, as unlikely as that may seem? – remains to be seen, but the discrepancy is worth noting, and worth tracking as the year progresses.
The growth of the network isn’t a sudden thing, necessarily; as Shareaholic notes, it was already driving more referral traffic than Google Plus, LinkedIn and YouTube combined by January of this year, making it something to pay attention to for anyone looking to build a coherent and productive social media strategy in today’s ever-changing world in which we’re living (By July, Pinterest was also sending more referral traffic than Twitter and Stumbleupon, and was pulling slightly ahead of the Bing search engine, as well; clearly a force to be reckoned with, even if it many continue to either underestimate or fail to understand its appeal).
The takeaway from this report isn’t necessarily clear, beyond “If you don’t have a Pinterest presence, you may want to fix that.” Outside of the growth of the network, after all, there’s another narrative about the drop in traffic from other sources and increase in direct traffic. Are the dynamics of the Internet changing beyond Pinterest?