Moderator: Danny Sullivan
This is another “informational” session, which I only attended for lack of something better. Session is all about stats and search engine usage. Good information, but not necessarily anything actionable in and of itself. The session did present some interesting trends that are/have been occurring over the past several months.
Note: Italics are my own personal thoughts and interpretations, not a re-iteration of what the speakers have said.
Michael Lanz, NetRatings
92% of U.S. population uses search. The average searcher performs 43 searches per month.
Google and Yahoo both gained share in the last year, while MSN dropped, even though usage grows on all. Ask received the largest usage growth (55%) with MSN receiving the smallest (3%).
Local search has grown 59% in the last year. Other engines showed the largest growth (yellowpages, etc.)
Each engine reaches a particular audience.
MSN has a significant referral/conversion rate compared to their market share (more than Yahoo). Google provides 50% of all conversions.
James Lamberti, comScore Marketing Solutions
6 billion searches are performed each month in the US alone. The number of searches traditionally go down in June and July. Volume of monthly searches is on a steady increase, including the number of searches performed per searcher. Top 20% of searchers perform 3x the average. Search marketers, perhaps?
Internet usage (not to be confused with the number of searches) declines substantially in the winter months.
Sponsored ad coverage is on the rise. More searches are showing more ads than every before. This is causing the organic to PPC click ratio to shift. Organic still gets more clicks but the gap has closes slightly.
Web search is dominant user activity. Searches performed via toolbar are also on the rise. 10-15% of the market download toolbars but not all keep or use them regularly. Yahoo has the highest penetration in the toolbar market with Google just behind them.
Bill Tancer, HitWise
Google shows a growth in driving referrals to sites while the other two engines show a decline.
The Google brand is still heavily identified with “search” regardless of all their other offerings. Social networking (specifically MySpace) presents the greatest opportunity and threat to search. Google gets 10% of its traffic from MySpace.