Search vs Social

I was at a meeting yesterday regarding the ongoing online piracy discussion and the conversation turned to search as a source of traffic to sites with pirated content. I stopped the conversation and noted that search isn't what it used to be and pointed out that many websites get more traffic from social than search.

Here at AVC, it is no contest. Here's the top ten traffic sources to AVC in the past thirty days:

AVC traffic sources

Google/organic is search. Direct and feedburner are regular visitors. Everything else (Stumbleupon, Twitter (t.co), Hacker News (news.ycombinator), Techmeme, google/referral, Facebook, and Linkedin are social. So if we break the top ten into three categories, direct is about half of the top ten's traffic, social is 40%, and search is 10%.

This blog isn't normal in a few ways. The fact that Twitter generates 13x Facebook in traffic is one example of that. And the very high level of direct/regular readers is probably a bit unusual too.

I'm curious if anyone is aware of a broader study of traffic sources on the Internet and how search and social compare these days. I suspect that they are neck and neck across the entire Internet or possibly that social has surpassed search. But I have not seen that data and I'd love to.