Publisher Traffic and Ad Performance from Social Networks

by Jonathan Mendez
September 19th, 2013

The Yieldbot platform sees over a billion and a half page-views monthly across leading premium publishers, with a cross-section of the web’s largest and best women’s programming; food/recipe, home/garden and health/wellness. Many of these sites are active programmers on a range of social platforms from Facebook to Pinterest to Tumblr to Twitter. The following data from Yieldbot shows the level of traffic and engagement with ads is highly variable.

Social Media as a Traffic Source

Pinterest is by far the largest source of social media traffic to publishers on the Yieldbot platform. “Pinning” is known to be a common activity in women’s programming verticals, including style, hobbies and projects, like home improvement

Yieldbot Monthly Page Views Index by Original Referrer Source

The above data shows Pinterest dominance as a domain referrer source to publishers. Interesting in that this dominance does not extend to mobile where Facebook greatly outperforms Pinterest. Also interesting is that Publishers are not generating any significant visitors from Tumblr or Twitter.

Ad Engagement from Social Media Traffic

While Pinterest desktop drives the most social platform traffic by far to publishers on the Yieldbot platform the performance of advertisers (as defined by CTR) is below par relative to other sources of social traffic.

Yieldbot Advertiser CTR Index by Original Referrer Source


Key Findings:

1) Social media presents a rich and large opportunity for driving traffic to premium publishers, especially from Pinterest, but publishers need to do a better job of generating volume on Facebook. Both Tumblr and Twitter, despite their large audiences are virtually meaningless to publishers as a traffic source.

2) Ad engagement, as defined by CTR, indexes higher from Facebook than other social platforms. Increases in traffic from Facebook will benefit the publisher’s advertisers given the high CTR levels.

Action Items:

1) Social traffic is not performing well in content because the ads are not geared toward social referrers. Huge upside here. We call this the “inbound social” opportunity.

2) Non social referred traffic is clicking at higher rates so why not push this traffic to social presences of brands. We call this the “outbound social” opportunity.

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