Despite buzz over social referrals, search engines are still the dominant traffic source for most publishers

Earlier this week Recode and The Atlantic cited a chart from BuzzFeed suggesting that Facebook surpassed Google as the most important referral source to publishers in 2013. Marshall Simmonds of SEO consulting firm Define Media Group begs to differ. “BuzzFeed seems to be the only primary source reporting this upheaval,” Simmonds writes. “As the search consultants of record for some of the biggest publishers in the world, we decided to dive into the metrics ourselves. The data we examined suggests something entirely different than the data BuzzFeed is distributing.”