Facebook Like Button
Mark Twain is credited with the quote…
“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.”
This was wonderfully shown today with BizReport story that the Facebook “Like button boosts blog traffic 200%.”
I highly doubted that, so I dug a bit more. Well, the article actually says, 3 paragraphs after that sensational headline, that referrals from Facebook increased by 200%.
They were quoting TypePad’s blog as saying…
“As you can tell, there’s no denying that readership on Facebook can have a powerful impact on a blog’s traffic with the right tools,” reads TypePad’s blog.
So over to that post we go. Typepad was Facebook’s “launch partner” for this. And now they’re making it sound like your traffic will go up 200%, but actually it’s just referrals from Facebook (“FB”). But…
Without knowing the actual numbers, it’s impossible to confirm or to even know how much extra traffic that brings.
So, off to Anguilla-Beaches.com we go. Nori had installed the Facebook “Like” button as a test. Here are her referrals from FB, real numbers and not percent increases…
- April — 35 (before the “Like” button)
- May — 219 (after the “Like” button)
- June (first half) — 97
Wow! Traffic increased 600%. Oops, I mean referrals from Facebook increased by 184 (and about the same for June if the pace continues).
That is 184 referrals for a site that gets 4,000 visits per day.
Not much. Next to nothing. Traffic has increased from less than 1/100th of a percent to less than 1/20th. Yawn.
So what’s “The Lesson”?
- Mark Twain was right.
- Read statistics extremely critically. Folks can select the right ones and make them “tell” whatever story they like, if you don’t think critically when reading them.
The other conclusion?
So far, a full fan page looks like a better idea, if you have the time to manage one. We’re speculating that FB will give those with “Like” pages the option to “upgrade” to a full Fan page.
All in all, the traffic bump is not impressive.
If Bing manages to get Facebook’s “social graph,” it may become one of hundreds of factors in its algorithm. And it would have to become very widely adopted before Bing could actually use it as an important part of its algorithm.
Ultimately, this is likely going to be something, it’s just not clear what or how much. So there’s no rush. We’re tracking and ultimately will likely turn this into a module, when the dust clears and we know what the module should be.
All the best,