Making Search Results Pay

Facebook-F-logoEveryone knows that if a company or product shows up on the first page of results from a search engine query, the chances that the company or product will get noticed, or even better get a click, go way up. But how far up can a company expect to go?

According to the latest data from Experian Marketing Services, the top five sites capturing search activity are Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB), with about 8.5% of clicks, Google Inc.'s (NASDAQ: GOOG) YouTube, 5.6% of clicks, Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) with 2.6%, Wikipedia with 2%, and Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) with 1.4% of clicks. These top 5 account for 20% of all search activity and the top 500 sites account for about 50% of all search activity.

The results for paid search are similar: the top 5 sites get 16% of the clicks and the top 50 sites get 56%. The top site is Amazon.com with 4.2% of clicks, followed by Ebay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY), Demand Media Inc.'s (NYSE: DMD) eHow, Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE: BBY), and Yahoo! Shopping.

Google serviced about 3 billion searches a day in 2011, which means that Facebook gleaned about 255 million clicks every day from Google searches. Even at a 1% rate, that's 3 million clicks a day. Amazon is paying for around 126 million clicks a day, given its 4.2% activity rate.

Even at click-through rates that are lower than 1%, the top sites get a lot of traffic from searches, free and paid. Big changes at the top are not likely.


Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Internet, Research Tagged: AMZN, BBY, DMD, EBAY, FB, GOOG, YHOO
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