According to Hitwise, 81% of the searches done on Bing and Yahoo resulted in an actual visit to a website. Google only showed a 65% rate. This suggests that either Bing/Yahoo is more relevant and providing the best results more often for the bulk of users, or that people search differently with Google. I’m assuming the latter.
I think most people who use Google expect to do a little digging. I think the results you’re given require you to refine your search, and as a Google user, you’re used to that. You’ve come to expect that.
Andy Beal at Marketing Pilgrim says, “Google offers more opportunities right upfront to refine the search by time, type of result, even result loca tions. Because of this, I’d bet many people take a second or third try at finding exactly what they want before they start clicking through.” That makes sense. I also think without the options, google users would be more apt to refining their search anyway.
I believe Google’s results are more detailed in nature and require your queries to be more specific as well. I feel like I get broader, safer results out of Bing. Thats what theyre going for per their marketing, but it feels a little “Fisher Price” to me. Not my style. Maybe Bing users are more casual.
Google and Bing have segregated the search audience. Like democrat and republican, NFL and MLB, or beer and wine, the two parties are different, and will continue to be shaped by the structure of the engine to some degree. It’s interesting, really, just how big a role search engines play, and what we can tell about people who use them. It’s not just an information retrieval system, but an extension of your brain. Much like a car.
ATG (a large commerce platform) just put out some interesting studies. 53% (of 1,002 total people) cited search engines as their key source for discovering new products.
Is this news? Not really. But I was interested to see how competitive email still is. I was also interested to see where social media (as a channel) resides. Social is under In-store displays and offline signs. Wow. Even though it’s fertile, this is a reminder that social still has a long road until full maturity.
Check out Search Engine Land for more stats.
Many business owners ask the common question, “Do I need SEO?” When I’m asked, I’m likely to recite any of the following.
- Because the internet demands you sync it with other online/offline marketing initiatives. What are you missing if you spend $1m for a Super Bowl commercial about a monkey jumping out of a car trunk and beating up a thief if you can’t find “monkey super bowl commercial” in Google?
- Because the ROI of SEO is that you’ll be around in a year. Sound like hype? Well, you’re competitors who are heavily focusing on SEO hope you take it that way.
- Because what a user sees and what a spider sees can be very different. Google has a sixth grade education, and you may not be teaching them anything in a language they can understand.
- Because you’re only rock stars in your own mind.
- Because if I see your listing in the top 5, and it looks like cheap promotion to me, I’ll skip.
- Because your paid search quality score will likely improve. Maybe you could actually afford bidding on those non-brand terms and introducing your site to brand agnostic visitors. Remember advertising?
- Because Google owns your site, not you. This goes for even the biggest brands. Think about it – even if someone knows your URL, they’re still probably going to type it into Google to find you for the first time (check your analytics). It would be a damn shame if you didn’t show up.
- Because without SEO, you won’t know the missed opportunities. Search is a function of demand. With a little R&D, you’ll be able to not only develop functioning landing pages, but create products. Remember marketing?
- A fuller semantic web is the future of SEO, and I don’t mean just mean programmatically. Semantic indexing! I personally believe the hype, and I write for it. I think it at least helps my readers, so that’s a good thing.
- Because SEO bloggers need something more substantial to write about over, and over, and over again.
In the meantime I’m working on a case study with a family member’s family law office in Reading, PA. Should have some data soon to really show the before and after of a 6 month SEO campaign. So far it’s pretty compelling.
It has begun.
If you didn’t hear, Bing and Yahoo have merged to a degree. Bing search will begin powering Yahoo.com’s search function. This merge also includes paid search (which is the real monetary motivator for this merger). The transition timelines are now out there.
Apparently it should be done between August and September.
Read more at Search Engine Roundtable.