A report from Chartbeat shows that Google Chrome’s mobile article recommendations are now the fourth greatest driver of referral traffic— behind Twitter, Facebook, and Google Search.
Mobile article recommendations show up when a user opens a new tab in the Chrome app. These are also known as “Articles for You,” “Chrome Content Suggestions,” and “Chrome Suggestions.”
According to Chartbeat’s data, traffic from Chrome’s Articles for You has grown 2,100% in 2017. Referral traffic jumped from 15 million visits per month to 341 million visits per month – and Chartbeat is only tracking referral traffic from Android.
Chartbeat attributes the growth of referral traffic from Articles For You to the fact that users continue to transition away from desktop computers to mobile devices.
”Since January 2017, mobile web traffic to Chartbeat clients has grown over 20 percent, reflecting just how much more time users are spending on their mobile devices.”
There are a few other contributing factors, not the least of which is Chrome being the number one browser in the world. In addition, Articles for You shows up by default every time a new tab is opened in the Chrome app. Users literally cannot avoid seeing these suggestions.
Another reason why Chrome’s article suggestions are so effective at driving traffic is that they’re personalized based on browsing history.
It’s too early to determine how site owners can optimize for Chrome’s Articles for You, though publishing AMP versions of content may help. Chartbeat says Articles for You primarily surfaces AMP pages, with 72% of article suggestions leading to AMPs.
Now that Articles for You has become a meaningful source of referral traffic, Chartbeat says it is now on their “research agenda.” We’ll be sure to follow this closely and report on any new information as it becomes available.