Twitter prides itself in connecting the world and sharing everybody’s thoughts from every corner of the world, especially when it comes to news. But is this really true, or is this just a branding and marketing stunt ? According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, Twitter accounts for less than one percent of traffic at most major news sites.

Out of the 21 sites involved in the study, LA Times is the biggest benefficiary, with a whopping 3.5 percent of its referrals coming from Twitter. The NY Times is second, with 1.21 percent, NY Post is 3rd with 1.2 percent, and the Huffington Post gets an honorable mention for 1.16.

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So all the talk about sharing news may be a little (or more) overblown; let’s be fair, no one can say that it doesn’t help spread the word and it doesn’t make people research certain topics, but the thing is, if you do share news and people see it, until they click the source link it remains nothing more than a rumour; and if this is the case, then Twitter is nothing more than a rumour mill.

However, Facebook is becoming more and more important in sharing news; the biggest news sites which benefit from it report more than double the amount of trafic received from Twitter, but that shouldn’t surprise you, if you consider the 600 million users compared to Twitters’s 175 million. So for pure news, where can you go ? The answer is the same old classic: Google. Google and Google news remain by far the biggest traffic generators for major news sites, according to the study.

“On average the search engine was responsible for 30 percent of traffic,” the study says. “It was the lead referring site for 17 of these major news sites and the second-ranked referring site for the other four.”

The lesson that you should learn here is that if you want news – go to Google. If you want to share news, it would be better to go on Facebook. If you want to be… uh, winning – Twitter is the place for you.