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SEO for Facebook Pages–Does it work?

, Co-Founder, PageLever

August 20, 2011



Should you worry about SEO for your Facebook page?

Do Google and Bing send enough traffic to the average page to make SEO worth the effort?

We benchmarked 1,000 fan pages to see how much traffic actually came to them from Google, Bing, Yahoo, and YouTube. Here are the results:

search engine fan page benchmarks SEO for Facebook Pages  Does it work?

Implications:

Google sends ~1/3 of the external referrer traffic to Facebook Pages.

Google sends 10x more traffic than Bing to Facebook pages

Rather surprising since Bing has a offical partnership with Facebook, I would have expected the disparity between them to be lower.

Yahoo sends ~2x more traffic than Bing to Facebook pages.I guess Yahoo isn’t dead after all.

Optimizing your Facebook Page for SEO will result in up to 2x more pageviews.

Notice that the median values were significantly lower than the averages. There’s a small group of pages that are getting such a large percentage of their traffic from search engines that it’s raising the average for the entire sample.

YouTube is a key source of traffic for just a few pages–note the high average but extremely low median.

Some of these pages are getting pretty much zero traffic from search engines.
The standard deviations are quite large, implying that there’s a lot of variance between the different fan pages.

Methodology:

Facebook reports the top external traffic referrers for Fan pages through their API, so the raw data came directly from them.

I used PageLever to measure the number of referrals from domains with the words “Google”, “Bing”, “Yahoo” and “YouTube”. I included international domain variants by using a keyword search (“google”) rather than an exact match (Google.com).

For each page, I measured the percentage of external referral sources that came from each search engine for each day from January 1st to June 30th, 2011. Then I took an average across the entire date range to generate a per-page average for each traffic source.

I analyzed 1,000 fan pages, and I only included pages with at least 10,000 fans to make sure there was enough pageview data for each page. In aggregate, there are over half-a-billion fans across these 1,000 fan pages.

Lastly, I took these 1,000 per-page-per-search-engine averages and averaged them together to get an average across the entire sample.

A couple of caveats:

This does not mean that 27% of your pageviews come from Google. It means that 27% of your external referrals are from Google. Facebook reports both pageview-internal-referral-sources (users coming from elsewhere within Facebook) and pageview-external-referral-sources–these are just search-engine-percentages of total-external-referrals.

Additionally, I discovered the sum of all internal plus external referring sources rarely adds up to the total-unique-pageviews. So again, I’d say that 27% of your external referrals come from Google, not that 27% of your pageviews come from Google.


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