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27

August

2011

Is Search Falling or Failing? :

How important are search engines? Very. Industry surveys have indicated that 90% or more of people begin their online purchasing process through a search engine. This means people who want to spend money don’t go directly to a website where they know they can purchase what they want. They cast a large net by searching for a product (perhaps for price comparison purposes or for shipping deals or for product/brand reviews); then the customer will find a site to shop on and make a purchase. I bet you want to be one of those sites.

The question is how do you get there? In what basket should you put your eggs? Social sites like Facebook? How about Google or Bing? Although social media will play an increasing role in search and search results (think Google Plus), according to one report, Facebook’s revenues from search are falling, which suggests people aren’t turning to the social media giant like they were a year ago when the average revenue was $8 per thousand searches. Today it’s $5 per thousand searches. And if ads don’t get more prominence on the site, it’s estimated that in the next five years revenue could dip down to $3.2 per thousand searches.

As far as non-social searching goes, the battle of the search engines still wages. Google still reigns supreme, but Yahoo did gain a notch of the market share between June and July 2011 (and at Google’s expense). Bing, however, did not gain any market share. Microsoft’s Online group, which controls Yahoo, is showing it is capable of chipping away at Google’s market share, a tenth of a percent every couple months, which suggests that forward-thinking businesses will be just as concerned about their Yahoo search placement as their Google placement in the coming years.