Links shared on Facebook and Twitter have become a crucial source of incoming traffic, and have been vying with search as a source of new readers for some time, said results from the analytics firm Parse.Ly.
"The company's latest estimates show that social-media sources accounted for 43 percent of the traffic to the Parse.Ly network of media sites, while Google accounted for just 38 percent," Fortune magazine quoted Parse.Ly's chief technical officer Andrew Montalenti as saying.
This is not the first time that Facebook has edged past Google in the traffic-referral race, Montalenti said.
"The social network took the top spot by a small amount last October, but this month's lead is far more dramatic," Parse.Ly's CTO said quoting from the company's data.
It is clear that search has hit a kind of plateau and is not really growing any more as a referral source for media.
"There's a lot of effort among media companies being placed on specific social channels like Twitter, but our data shows that Twitter is basically a distant traffic source," Montalenti was quoted as saying.
"Facebook is more like a black box in terms of how it operates. And yet it's this huge and growing traffic source," he said.