Surprise: Yahoo’s homepage drives more traffic than Twitter

Traffic for publishers, these days, is Google, Facebook and the rest. In that all-the-rest category, Yahoo is driving more traffic than originally thought.

On June 2, Yahoo added a referral tag to its homepage, so now it can get credit for that traffic, Chartbeat explained in a blog post. When Yahoo moved its site to https two years ago, designed to protect users’ privacy and security, its referral traffic began to show up as unattributed, or dark traffic.

As a result, Yahoo went from being the No. 16 referral source for publishers to No. 6 on June 2, after Facebook, Google Search, Twitter, Google News and Bing. This is based on traffic across a sample of 5,000 sites that are representative of the 50,000 sites that Chartbeat measures.

The morning of June 3, Yahoo jumped to third place, after Google Search and Facebook and ahead of Twitter and Google News, representing 4.3 percent of the top five traffic referral sources. Let’s be clear: Yahoo is no Facebook.

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Source: Chartbeat network of 5,000 sites, June 3

“Anecdotally, it’s known they’re big but hard to know how successful it is because a very large proportion of their traffic wasn’t attributed,” said Dan Valente, director of data science at Chartbeat. “Now you know.”

For publishers, it’s all the more reason to value Yahoo as a traffic source. For Yahoo, it’s a bit of welcome news to tout, at a time when its financial performance is in the tank and a for-sale sign has attracted a few bidders.

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