Gen-Y Adults Nearly Twice as Likely to Use Social Networks to Find Websites

A new report by Forrester shows that social media and other channels are beginning to drive more website traffic, though search engines are still easily in the lead. Younger generations in particular are more heavily influenced by social networks, online forums, and Twitter as drivers of website traffic, as reported by Marketing Profs.

Natural search engine results still drive the most site traffic, though less exclusively than they did in the past:

  • 61% of surveyed online adults find websites through search engines (a significant drop from 83% in 2004)
  • Other top drivers of website traffic for adults include typing the URL (39%), email from friend/family member (31%), link from another website (30%) and recommendation from another person (26%)
  • Only 16% of online adults are referred to websites via social channels

However, the data is very different for Gen-Y adults (ages 18-30):

  • Nearly 30% find websites via social networking sites
  • 25% do so via email from friends and family
  • 14% of Gen-Y adults are referred to sites via blog posts, double the 7% of all adults
  • 10% of Gen-Y adults are referred to sites via Twitter, double the 5% of all adults