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Not All Search Is Created Equal


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#1 iamlost

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Posted 01 February 2016 - 12:24 PM

I've written about diversifying search traffic before. Ad nauseum? Probably. :)

And many (all focussed on the Google Godzilla) have responded with one or more of:
* other SEs refer little to no traffic
* what traffic they refer doesn't convert
* I rank in G but not the others
---and it takes too much time/effort/cost to diversify
---and see first two points

Outside of the US and Canada markets the number one response is Google has 90%+ of the search market so that is where I HAVE to put my effort. Plus see the foregoing.

With the slight disclaimer that every market, niche, and business model is somewhat different here goes a major hole in that previous 'HAVE TO' argument.
Note: all (rounded) numbers current as of January 2016.

In the UK Google has ~90.5% of search, Bing ~5.5%, Yahoo ~2.5%
BUT
in transactional UK search it is Yahoo with ~34%, Bing ~33%, Google ~31% (via Experian).

Yup, that ~8% others aka !G of the UK general search market account for upwards of two-thirds of UK transactional search.

Yahoo with the lowest is actually the largest.

Not all search is created equal.

I even know largely why. And I've previously written about that too:
* Google is most popular with younger demographics
* the over 50s have over 50% of the disposable income
---youngsters have ~60% of after tax income but also more mortgages et al.
* a full third of consumer purchases made by the younger groups are paid for by the over 50s.
Everyone is so busy chasing Google and the after-boomer generations that they are ignoring who has the money/credit to spend ... and where they are.

Everyone is sheeple.

iammerelylost



#2 earlpearl

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 04:50 AM

I've been tracking that type data for yrs for our smb sites. We've never seen that. Generally the 3 SE's have converted at similar rates, Google slightly higher these days

#3 glyn

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 04:56 AM

Don't worry Earl, IAMLOST is selling dildos, his data is quite niche.



#4 earlpearl

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 10:51 AM

Don't worry Earl, IAMLOST is selling dildos, his data is quite niche.

 

I spent a teeny bit of time trying to find the data source from Experian, but gave up before I could source it.  Not worried at  all. Just wanted to put out different data that we have seen for many years, albeit from very small samples.   Hey we see things that reflect large data; one example being apple mobile users are far better converters than android.  

 

Just haven't seen the type of data that Lost provided.  Not for years and years. 



#5 EGOL

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 10:56 AM

I just toss up pages and traffic starts flowing in.   Toss up more pages, more traffic flows in.  A lot from google.  Some from Yahoo, some from Bing, lately DuckDuckGo.   Not going to monkey with it.



#6 tam

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 11:09 AM

My yahoo & bing have been about even Jan 2014 & 15, just looking at the last month and bing is about double yahoo. Still only about 8% between them compared to google's 89% of SE traffic.

 

Though that doesn't factor in people that use bing to search for google and then search for me.

 

I've never chased the other SE for worry that trying to optimise for them, with have a knock on effect on G and don't wanna muck about with something that works.



#7 earlpearl

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 01:49 PM

My yahoo & bing have been about even Jan 2014 & 15, just looking at the last month and bing is about double yahoo. Still only about 8% between them compared to google's 89% of SE traffic.

 

Though that doesn't factor in people that use bing to search for google and then search for me.

 

I've never chased the other SE for worry that trying to optimise for them, with have a knock on effect on G and don't wanna muck about with something that works.

 

On that last sentence I have an experience that is several years old.  For one smb site we had every town, county, zip code for a service that was regional in nature, listed on the bottom of the site (in a drop down).  It worked in google and bing and yahoo at first.  We would get long tail visits for the service and some remote (in distance) town names.

 

Then it stopped working in google.  It was still working in Bing.  Probably at the time we got 8-10 times the traffic for google.  We dropped it, for fear of G penalties.  Google's traffic was way to much higher than to risk the penalty vs the bennies from bing.    btw: the Bing/Google/Yahoo conversion rates were pretty similar at that time.

 

There could be niches where conversion rates differ by SE.  Just not in our niches.



#8 iamlost

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 09:25 PM

@earlpearl:
Every site/niche/region is somewhat unique and different. I would be very surprised if any specific site matched general/averaged statistics (much as really meeting that 3.13 person average American family of 2014 :D). That said, if the numbers are extremely different, as is often the case with Google optimised sites, the fact that there is a lot of value being left on the table might encourage an occasional webdev to run a test or three.
Note: I didn't link to the Experian data because my source is not on the public web.

@glyn:
I have not yet ventured into tourism et al as a revenue source; that you are aware (and no doubt profiting greatly) of picturesque Dildo (pop. 1200), Newfoundland, Canada, is proof positive of your expertise.

 

dildo-newfoundland.jpg

@EGOL:

I just toss up pages and traffic starts flowing in.   Toss up more pages, more traffic flows in.

Ah, the academic empiricist at his best!
Although perhaps 'toss' is ummm a little non-ac in tone?

@tam:

I've never chased the other SE for worry that trying to optimise for them, with have a knock on effect on G and don't wanna muck about with something that works.

@earlpearl:

We dropped it, for fear of G penalties.  Google's traffic was way to much higher than to risk the penalty vs the bennies from bing.

Way back in the archives here at Cre8 Ammon wrote THE primer on how to rank in all three. Of course times have changed and while the principle is actually still quite workable (although not what I do any more) the execution needs an addition or three (hint: robots.txt, meta noindex are a webdev's BFF).
Note: took a quick look and couldn't locate it, but it should still be there somewhere.

I have no problem with anyone doing pretty much anything that doesn't cause harm. If you don't see sufficient possibilities for your business model given your resources/requirements good enough. Just be aware that what you think you see may not be all there is to see aka perspective is everything. And while not true so much here at Cre8 the Google filter bubble so many webdevs live inside is a surprisingly small part of the whole.

In that vein some more statistics:

US search market, December 2015, non-mobile:
* Google: 63.8%
* MSFT: 20.9%
* Yahoo: 12.4%

US search market, December 2015, mobile
* Google: ~90%
* Bing: ~5%
* Yahoo: ~3%
Note: Google is paying to be the iOS SE of choice, so perhaps half is at risk; something for webdevs to keep in the back of their minds.

 



#9 EGOL

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Posted 02 February 2016 - 09:40 PM

@glyn.... flying over for your next vacation?  



#10 glyn

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 05:11 AM

@glyn:
I have not yet ventured into tourism et al as a revenue source; that you are aware (and no doubt profiting greatly) of picturesque Dildo (pop. 1200), Newfoundland, Canada, is proof positive of your expertise.

 

 

For goodness sake I had that community to myself.

 

Oh well, when you are ready IAMLOST you can come and sit in on a lesson at my favourite place



#11 earlpearl

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 10:04 AM

@earlpearl:
Every site/niche/region is somewhat unique and different. I would be very surprised if any specific site matched general/averaged statistics (much as really meeting that 3.13 person average American family of 2014 :D). That said, if the numbers are extremely different, as is often the case with Google optimised sites, the fact that there is a lot of value being left on the table might encourage an occasional webdev to run a test or three.
Note: I didn't link to the Experian data because my source is not on the public web.

@glyn:
I have not yet ventured into tourism et al as a revenue source; that you are aware (and no doubt profiting greatly) of picturesque Dildo (pop. 1200), Newfoundland, Canada, is proof positive of your expertise.

 

attachicon.gifdildo-newfoundland.jpg

@EGOL:

Ah, the academic empiricist at his best!
Although perhaps 'toss' is ummm a little non-ac in tone?

@tam:

@earlpearl:

Way back in the archives here at Cre8 Ammon wrote THE primer on how to rank in all three. Of course times have changed and while the principle is actually still quite workable (although not what I do any more) the execution needs an addition or three (hint: robots.txt, meta noindex are a webdev's BFF).
Note: took a quick look and couldn't locate it, but it should still be there somewhere.

I have no problem with anyone doing pretty much anything that doesn't cause harm. If you don't see sufficient possibilities for your business model given your resources/requirements good enough. Just be aware that what you think you see may not be all there is to see aka perspective is everything. And while not true so much here at Cre8 the Google filter bubble so many webdevs live inside is a surprisingly small part of the whole.

In that vein some more statistics:

US search market, December 2015, non-mobile:
* Google: 63.8%
* MSFT: 20.9%
* Yahoo: 12.4%

US search market, December 2015, mobile
* Google: ~90%
* Bing: ~5%
* Yahoo: ~3%
Note: Google is paying to be the iOS SE of choice, so perhaps half is at risk; something for webdevs to keep in the back of their minds.

 

Iamlost:  By describing the tremendous difference between our local experience and the Experian data I merely wanted to show that there are some significant variances.   I don't have access to huge data bases of local experience, but I speak with and interact with many many local seo's with lots of data.  Its pretty consistent;  Google dominates in local search probably somewhere in the 85-90% range among SE's.  We have two older sites that do well in Bing (and hence yahoo) search.  Even with very high visibility those two sites have dramatically higher percentage of G SE traffic than B and Y--> G is above 80% of that total...and that is a lower % of G than what I see in the "newer" sites or what I hear from other local seo's.

 

Correction/Edit:  I checked the 2 older sites over the last 13 months. These are ones with strong B &Y visibility for important keywords. Of total traffic from G,B, and Y G provides 87% of that traffic, B somewhat more than 1/2 of the remainder, Y somewhat less than 1/2 of that remainder.  Other large sources of traffic:  Direct (way higher on mobile than desktop/tablet--I assume there is still some level of misrepresentation in that data as some of it could be from SE's).   Behind that there is referral traffic coming primarily via search from sites that rank highly for relevant search terms.  In local that is often called "barnacle traffic" as it references your site off of other urls.   The best barnacle sites are strong converters.  (yelp with good reviews would be an example).

 

Then social and media sites (media-> local...sort of relevant social).  Heck I've been working on these for years.  For the most part and relevant to the best known SM sites these local smb's don't convert well via these sites.   We keep trying new things.  We've found some smaller local social/media sites that do convert...but they are relatively small but they convert well on a percentage basis.  We've had some large SM and media driven spikes.   Immediate conversions have never worked to any extent.  Do they create awareness and lead to conversions down the line???   possibly.  hard to track.   

 

But you acknowledge that.  I have never met an American family with 3.13 family members but have met some with over 12...so there are lots of variances to the data and to averages.

 

As to Dildo.  It looks pretty!!!   ;)

 

I'd have to go back in time as to Ammon's post on optimizing for all 3 engines.  But realistically with the way G dominates I mostly don't care, even as we have reasonable traffic from B & Y...reasonable but so much less than big G, that I definitely do not want to risk the Big G traffic.  Big G evokes fear.  I work to detach from it every day.

 

As to the traffic stats. On desktop if those are Comscore's stats I simply don't believe them and evidently neither does Google or Bing or anyone in the know as per this WSJ story from last spring.

 

On the mobile side...oi...aint it the truth....and it is why there are stories like the elsewhere referenced case of the Halifax florist.   Search for Dean's Flowers Halifax on a mobile.  Here is the screen shot I get on a mobile

003.PNG

 

Oh oh my.  An ad and the TOP of the Google Local knowledge box, wherein a street map shows (and an image).   That is an unbelievably deceptive ad, implying that the advertiser site is also the local store.

 

Anyhooooo.....there could well be areas wherein other SE's are more valuable than Goog...but in local Goog is (unfortunately) king.


Edited by earlpearl, 03 February 2016 - 12:27 PM.




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