40 Using Buzzsumo to Find Highly Viral Stories

If you are looking to hone your fact-checking skills, you may want to find highly viral stories. Your own Facebook and Twitter feeds are good sources for such stories.

Sometimes, you will want to get outside your filter bubble and see the stories that other folks are sharing. There are a number of tools you can use to find viral stories. For example, Buzzsumo is an option that is simple to use. Go to Buzzsumo.com.


Homepage of Buzzsumo, which features a search bar on its main page.

Put in a search term, like “cancer.” Buzzsumo will return the most shared stories on the topic of cancer. Filter them by date, and we can look at the stories for the past week.


Buzzsumo results for “cancer,” showing two articles and their Facebook engagements, which is meant to measure the virality of the articles on Facebook

Facebook engagements is not purely about shares and encompasses other actions as well. It is a good metric of how viral the story is.

The free version of Buzzsumo only lets you view the top results and limits the number of searches you can perform per day; however, it is often enough access to enable you to find an interesting story to fact-check. The “Cancer Cure Genius Silenced by Medical Mafia” result is interesting. Its inflammatory language is a good indicator that the claims in it are likely to be overstated.


Buzzsumo results for “cancer” scrolled down a few articles. One article, “Royal Rife: Cancer Cure Genius Silenced by Medical Mafia” uses particularly inflammatory language.
Free version of Buzzsumo search results







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Web Literacy for College Students 2nd Ed Copyright © 2020 by NSCC and Michael A. Caulfield is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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