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Organic Search Still Reigns

Google drives nonbranded queries

February 18, 2010

A good position in natural search results is critical to a brand’s strategy on the Web—and that means appearing on page one.

Making it onto the first page of results from Google, Yahoo! or Bing has always been a major goal, with marketers aware that consumers will give up after relatively few hits. Data from iCrossing analyzing natural-search referrals shows that only a tiny number come from results after the first page.

US Natural Search Visits from Google, Yahoo! and Bing, by Search Engine Results Page, Q2-Q4 2009 (% of total in each group)

That was true across the big three search engines, with at least 95% of traffic from each originating from the first page of results after a nonbranded search. Less than 2% of search-referred traffic came from clickers persistent enough to look for results after the second page.

Marketers recognize the importance of investment in search optimization so they will appear in those results and benefit from the huge portion of clicks that go to the top hits. The Society of Digital Agencies (SoDA) found that search optimization was the third priority of senior marketers worldwide, after social networking and improving digital infrastructure.

A report from Econsultancy and ExactTarget indicated natural search would see a rise in spending by online marketers worldwide, nearly two-thirds of whom planned to increase outlays in the channel.

iCrossing also found that, in terms of referrals rather than queries, Google is doing even better than reported by researchers such as comScore, which found that 65.7% of US search queries in December 2009 were conducted on Google.

Google, Yahoo! and Bing US Market Share of Natural Nonbranded Search Visits, Q2-Q4 2009 (% of total)

Counting referrals for nonbranded search terms, Google’s share rose to nearly three-quarters.

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Check out today’s other article, “Social Networkers Still Love E-Mail.”


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