Who's Feeding Silicon Valley?


For an ad-supported Web company, eyeballs — people who visit a site and see its ads — are among the most important currencies. So it’s interesting to see which sites are sending each other the most traffic, and who depends on whom for referrals.

Click here to see who’s sending popular Web companies the most traffic →

We’ve run the Web referral numbers in Compete for 10 Silicon Valley/Web 2.0 companies, ranging from social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to widget companies like Slide to the Silicon Valley community newsletters, TechCrunch and Techmeme.

Common thread: Google and Yahoo (YHOO), the biggest search engines/portals, send a lot of traffic to everyone. But there’s also some other strong relationships.

For instance, Google’s (GOOG) YouTube still gets 6% of its referrals from MySpace, according to Compete. That’s nothing like the old days, but it’s still significant. (And MySpace gets 3% of its referrals from YouTube.)

If you recall, former News Corp. no. 2 Peter Chernin once boasted that MySpace sent YouTube 60% to 70% of its traffic. (He also vowed to “match them if not exceed them” — something no one has been able to do.) And at one point, people freaked out a little when MySpace temporarily blocked YouTube and a few other video sites.

Of course, Google eventually bought YouTube for $1.65 billion, and the search giant is now its single largest traffic source — 23% of referrals to YouTube, according to Compete.

Click here to see who’s sending popular Web companies the most traffic →

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