Does Facebook’s Like button really help drive traffic?

I’ve been looking at the Facebook API lately in relation to how search in the coming years will likely be increasingly impacted by the terabytes of personal data Facebook is collecting on some 500 million of us. To that end, if you read this blog with any regularity and you’ll notice that I’ve added a like button in the top left hand corner. I want to understand the affect of the Like button on a page/site and whether it helps drive traffic to that page/site or if it’s just a piece of information useful for Facebook.

Facebook recently wrote a post expounding on the benefits of leveraging their social graph to help drive traffic claiming both astronomical increases in traffic and engagement. Unfortunately, the post neglects to mention specifics regarding things the various sites did to see such huge increases. I’m looking for examples where non-Facebook sites are leveraging the Like data and actually benefiting from including it.

My request is that if you actually like this blog can you have a Facebook account if you wouldn’t mind clicking that button. I thank you in advance.

For those of you picking this up via an aggregator I’ll stick the button right into the post so you don’t have to browse there.

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3 thoughts on “Does Facebook’s Like button really help drive traffic?

  1. I actually AdBlock the entire facebook.com and fbcdn.net domains in my primary browser, and only visit facebook from a secondary browser (Chrome in my case), just to eliminate the omniscient tracking of browsing combined with identifying cookies. I think the popularity of the Like button is rather sinister, reminiscent of a Stalinist approach to spying on one’s citizens.

  2. Hey Bary,
    The Like button certainly raises privacy issues though it’s looking more and more as though Facebook’s gotten a pass on it as they’ve done many times before. It’s hard to thwart the 900lb gorilla. Facebook’s "social" controls are showing up all over the place thus if you truly want privacy from Facebook wouldn’t it make sense not to have an account there at all? I’d guess your account is far more useful data than a potentially spotty browsing history.

    The interesting thing is that for young people, if they’re even considering these issues, peer pressure likely forces them into an untenable position regarding their privacy when it comes to Facebook and other Internet related technology. Kids these days are simply accustomed to yielding access to their privacy.

    I use Privoxy for blocking cookies and tracking pixels but haven’t extended to the point you’ve mentioned (yet).

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