Sorry, we could not find the combination you entered »
Please enter your email and we will send you an email where you can pick a new password.
Reset password:


Plus Report - By Thomas Baekdal - April 2011

Social Annihilates Page Views, So What?

Measuring page views and bounce rates for existing visitors doesn't make much sense. It is not a goal to get them to click around. The goal is to get them to come back repeatedly.

A report from Outbrain recently looked at traffic sources and the impact of social. Not surprisingly, the average social referral traffic is still very low. But the report also found that social traffic results in a substantially higher bounce rate and lower page views.

That might seem scary. But it's not a goal to get more page views or a low bounce-rate. The goal is to get satisfied customers that keep coming back for more.

Note: Also read "Forget Bounce Rates, focus on Conversions."

Lets take a look at the report from Outbrain.

They measured 100 million sessions across 100 premium publishers that use Outbrain's services. As such, it is biased towards a certain type of site. Mostly big content sites and online newspapers.

Traffic sources

The first real "shocker" is the break down of incoming traffic. Direct traffic rules supreme, followed by traditional channels, and all of them completely dwarf social channels.

The problem with this is two fold. First, you have to embrace social and focus on sharing to get a social result. An example from this site is that the vast majority of all traffic is coming in via social channels and only 1.11% from search.

You have a tremendous impact on your traffic sources. If you are not using social channels the right way, you are not going to see any results from it.

The other problem is that you cannot trust referrer data. As I wrote in "Don't Trust Your Social Referral Data," a lot of your direct traffic might actually be something else. A lot of your social traffic shows up in your stats as direct visitors-drastically skewing the results.


The other and much more interesting point is to look at what people do when they arrive via different channels. Outbrain specifically looked at both page views and bounce rates.

As you can see, social media generally perform badly.

Traditionally, this signifies a less engaged audience. Why didn't they click around more? Why didn't they see more stuff?

Not so fast, though. That is the old way of thinking. It is from the days when websites where destinations. It is the user behavior of a non-connected world.

The world has changed. In order to explain just how big that change is, let's explore a few scenarios.

This 11 page report is exclusive for subscribers. (login)

Try it free for one week

Register to try out Baekdal Plus completely for free for one week.

for just...
for just...
You get two months for free


Baekdal Plus is your premium destination for trends and analysis for the media industry. Every year you get 25 reports about the future media trends, business and editorial strategies, monetization analysis and insights about how to use analytics specifically for publishers.

As a subscriber, you also get full access to all the Plus reports (more than 200) published over the past 8 years, as well as the ability to share what you read.

I'm a company, can we pay via an invoice?

Yes, of course, please write to and I will send you a regular invoice that you can pay via your bank. I will need your company name, address and VAT number (if within the EU). Also, please note that due to this process being manual, this will be for an annual subscription only.

Is there an Enterprise Plan?

Yes, please write to for details. But for 25-99 users: the price is 20% off the subscription price ($79/year per user), 100+ users is a fixed price at $5,000 (for all combined).

Can you create a report just for us?

Yes, please head over to Baekdal Media to read about consulting where I can help you with strategy reviews, trend and strategy reports, and strategic guidance for you media company or a specific publication.



The Baekdal Plus Newsletter is the best way to be notified about the latest media reports, but it also comes with extra insights.

Get the newsletter

Thomas Baekdal

Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter

"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made ​​himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé


—   thoughts   —


Why publishers who try to innovate always end up doing the same as always


A guide to using editorial analytics to define your newsroom


What do I mean when I talk about privacy and tracking?


Let's talk about Google's 'cookie-less' future and why it's bad


I'm not impressed by the Guardian's OpenAI GPT-3 article


Should media be tax exempt?