Eighteen months ago, search represented 40% of the Guardian's traffic and social represented just 2%. Six months ago – before the launch of their Facebook app - these figures had barely moved.
But last month, she said, they had felt a 'seismic shift' in their referral traffic. For the first time in their history, Facebook drove more traffic to guardian.co.uk than Google for a number of days, accounting for more than 30% of referrer traffic. The point was illustrated with the graph above showing the crossing of the two traffic lines, although the Facebook referrals now appear to be receding.
This is obviously a great achievement for the team who created the Facebook app. Overall, The Guardian's relentless pursuit of digital innovation is paying off. Its last month traffic stats are staggering: more than 4 million unique browsers (+64% vs. Feb 2011) and almost 70 million unique browsers monthly (+76% vs. Feb 2011). As for its mobile site, that's growing at a year-to-year rate of 182%, with 640,000 unique browsers a month.
The Guardian Facebook App played a critical role in this rise in traffic. Over the last five months, 8 million people downloaded it and 40,000 are signing up every day, according to Tanya Cordrey.
Extract of article by Frédéric Filloux, firstname.lastname@example.org