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SMX West 2009 “Searchscape: Latest Stats About The Search Engines”

Feb 27, 2009   |   Web Design and Promotion
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SMX West 2009

Eli Goodman, Search Evangelist
Jon Stewart,
Research Director, Technology & Search
Bill Tancer, General Manager, Global Research

Success rate is decreasing for all search engines. Search rate occurs when a search is conducted and a search results in selected opposed to conducting another search immediately without clicking on a search result. As the amount of information in search engine results continue to increase, marketers need to know their target market. Searchers are specific about their needs which allow marketers to optimize ads and listings for the relevant target market. When a person is searching for a hotel in a specific area that is pet friendly, it is essential that the search engine results are relevant to that search to ensure to increase click-through rate for the hotel and the Success rate for the search engine.

Words in a search engine query are increasing. The average number of words for a query is 3. There is a prediction made by Bill Tancer of HitWise that the number of words for a search query will continue to increase in 2009 where as search success rate will continue to decrease. There has been a total increase of 38% in search engine queries over last year. However, only 37% of causal searchers use only 1 search engine, while heavy searchers use 5 search engines. Though search is growing, click-throughs on paid search is decreasing. Amount of information on Internet will grow exponentially.

Social Network Search Themes:
YouTube has gained the second largest market share for search engines and is closing the gap on Google. Social networking sites are showing growth throughout the world and are becoming major sites for promotion and search. Certain themes have presented themselves on social media sites when people are conducting searches.

  • Facebook: Personal Names, Applications, Relationships
  • MySpace: Musicians, Albums, Personal Names
  • Flickr: Movies, TV, Technology Brands (Xbox 360, Nikon)
  • Digg Video Games, Movies

As social media sites continue to grow, it is best to focus on the target market that best resonates with that social network.

Brand Advocates are people who voice their opinions about products and experiences. These people most frequently use UGC sites and represent 40% of online category buyers. Advocates tell twice as many people about their experiences as normal searches. However, it is important to know that not only are Brand Advocates heavy searchers, however, they are extremely heave Social Networkers as well.

Though the numbers of queries are increasing and the total number of people using search engines has increased, success rates for search engines have decreased. Searchers know what they want when they are doing a search and are fairly specific, the number of words in a search query has been increasing as well. So it is important to ensure that the targeted keywords are relevant to a person search, given their query. As the definition of search engines has broadened, social networking sites are on the rise. Social networking sites are also building themes in the things people search on them. This can be helpful when targeting a marketing campaign for hotels. Also, user generated content sites, such as, etc, are becoming popular with Brand Advocates who like to share their ideas and experiences. This can be helpful when promoting a hotel. People can leave positive reviews about their experiences.

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