Poynter | Links from other news sites matter more than social networks ::says Outbrain study, but… ::

Links from content sites (including other news publishers or aggregators) drive 56 percent of referrals to news websites, says the second quarter Content Discovery Report from Outbrain. Those visitors referred through content are also more deeply engaged — measured by lower bounce rates and higher than average pageviews — than visitors who arrive at a website through search or social streams.

Read the full piece at poynter.org

I’m always looking for insight to the behavior of news audiences. But (as someone else also notes in the comments on Poynter’s post), Outbrain has a financial motivation to find that its business of cross-promoting publishers’ links has value over the obvious competition of social media. Unfortunately, this claimed result flies in the face of common sense when you consider the relative numbers of people who visit news sites vs. those who exchange recommendations on Facebook and Twitter. Then again, Outbrain refers to links that “matter more,” which leaves it open for various values of what matters — numbers, time-on-site, dwell, click-thrus to advertising, etc. Still…