As I was putting together a report this morning for one of my clients, I noticed something strange: there was a HUGE surge of traffic from Facebook. The funny thing? This client doesn’t even have a Facebook account tied to this new domain we’re working on. Or, so I thought.

Experimenting with Facebook Graph

Just to be sure, I went to my personal Facebook page and searched for this client’s name. I pushed enter and I found myself, for the first time, on a search results page for the new Facebook Graph Search. Clearly, the client name I had entered did not have a Facebook presence, so Facebook Graph Search sent me to a page filled with Bing results. And there it was–my client’s website was the top search result.

As far as tracking this in Google Analytics is concerned, is this visit attributed to Facebook as a referrer, or to Bing organic search? According to my Analytics for this client, there was hardly any change in Bing traffic for the period, whereas Facebook and Facebook mobile grew at an incredible percentage.

Facebook Graph Analytics Attribution

Moral of Facebook Search’s Analytics Attribution

Although this is a very small sample size, the click-through from Facebook Search seems to be attributed to Facebook, not Bing. It seems the social media giant is giving itself all the credit for the referral, which is fine by me. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a separation between “Facebook/referral” traffic and “Facebook Search/referral” (or organic) traffic in the coming months.

Sidenote: I am not a programmer, but this line of code (cut down) seems to be significant as well:

onclick=”LinkshimAsyncLink.referrer_log(this, … http://www.facebook.com)

I’d love to hear if anyone has found evidence in support of this, or otherwise.

Jamie Bates