Not all click-through traffic is equally good traffic. I enjoyed this article on DMNews about the different importance of clicks in the world of search. The authors point out we need to consider the keywords users have clicked before landing on our site (it’s different if they search for “buy hi-fi, or they type “hi-fi review”), but also we need to analyse the path of “clickers” through the site, to see if they browse and leave, or they browse and buy. Furthermore, before starting the campaign, it’s also very important to evaluate the kind of search engines we want to advertise on. Users with different characteristics use different search engines. For example DMNews explains: “AOL traditionally has been seen as the search space of choice for the less Web-savvy Internet user. That might make it a better place to sell a beginner-level product that helps people understand the Web better.“. Planning has an important role also in search engine marketing. It’s not just a question of choosing the right keywords, it’s also relevant where you place them.
According to Nielsen//Netratings Google is the leader among search engines, but users have started using other major engines also. A new research (opens .pdf) only a small number of users use only one search engines. Nielsen//Netrating explains that 58 percent of Google searchers also visited at least one of the other top two search engines, MSN Search and Yahoo! Search, showing that even though Google’s market share is dominant today, there is significant opportunity for its competitors to grow.
Keyword ad lawsuits could dramatically effect the way search engines such as Google and Yahoo do business. Some companies are alleging that selling keyword ads to rivals, which include trademarked keywords, are “confusing potential customers.” BusinessWeek talks about it. (thank you Lisa)
According to ZdNet big players in the search market, like Microsoft, Yahoo and EarthLink are all considering to further develop their business developing a search “taskbar” to be displayed to the side or at the bottom of a PC screen. The business appears to be huge, but also in it’s infancy and the article is good as an introduction to the topic.
On Red Herring the story of Ask Jeeves, the search engine once given up for dead, that is now actually doing well. I especially liked this quote that gives you an idea of how Ask Jeeves business is important in the in the highly competitive search market.“The resurrection of Ask Jeeves is a microcosm of how the search business has changed during the past three years.”
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