It seems like every time we read the Internet, we stumble across yet another story about the growing influence of Twitter and Facebook.
Which, undeniably, is true.
But that doesn’t mean we should discount the old guard.
Or, perhaps a better phrasing would be that we shouldn’t discount the older Internet players.
Namely, Matt Drudge.
According to a new study by Outbrain, the Drudge Report drove 6.85% of the traffic to sites such as The New York Times, The Atlantic, MSNBC, Mashable, and others during the second quarter of 2011.
That figure is well below Google (32.18%) and Yahoo (15.78%), but significantly higher than Twitter (1.69%) and Facebook (1.07%).
Perhaps more significantly, that number is up from 5.33% during the first quarter. (Facebook posted about the same percentage as it did during Q1 while Twitter’s share actually dropped 0.2%.)
Now, take those numbers with a grain of salt.
Facebook flat out says the figures are incorrect, and Mashable reports that “Outbrain has agreed to look over its Facebook numbers again.”
Business Insider’s internal numbers also show that Facebook and Twitter drive significantly more than 1% of our traffic.
So don’t be surprised to see the Outbrain study discredited to a certain extent.
But one thing is not debatable: Drudge’s influence is large and it will continue to grow. As the presidential campaign kicks into a higher gear – that may seem impossible, but we’re not even close to the top – his site will become a bigger player in the national conversation.