Now conventional wisdom states that currently Google have circa 66% of the US Search Market and arguably much greater worldwide. Yahoo and Bing lag well behind in 2nd and 3rd place with approximately 27% between them while Ask and AOL are almost nonexistent (they will of course deny this strongly but then to paraphrase a well known Politico/Journalist quote – “they would say that wouldn’t they”) whilst the new kids on the block, Yandex and Baidu look good outside bets but still have yet to penetrate outside of their own domestic market places in any meaningful manner.
So if we take the above almost as Gospel then you would normally assume that when you get wiped out by Google then traffic, business, in fact any form of meaningful interaction online disappears overnight?
You would certainly think so?
However in one case we had control of earlier this year this was not necessarily the case.
The site in question was caught up as collateral damage in the “Great Penguin Attack of April 2012.”
But, interestingly enough, though turnover was hit it didn’t drop to the same degree or level that the Google Referral traffic did. The reason for this, looking back and analysing the data was that actually there is a huge difference between traffic and surfers visiting from the various Search Engines and this can have a marked effect on your turnover.
If you think of it this way, when you search via the Google Search Portal, you are met with a very minimalist Search Form that subconsciously puts you into the mindset “Research”. It is designed thus, always has been and that was its very early appeal and there is nothing wrong with that.
Conversely, if you look at the Yahoo Portal you are met with so much going on that it screams “interaction” and so by and large you are “in the mood” for clicking and interacting almost from the get go.
With Bing, it is slightly different and this almost is a hangover from the days when Bing (or MSN as it once was) was the Search Engine of default when IE was bolted on as a necessity with all installations of Windows OS. Now due to deregulation, Microsoft can no longer bolt on IE with Windows, the levels have dropped but historically the surfers who visited via MSN were always the most active of the lot.
Anyway to sum up, there is life after Google and that’s before you start to think about some of the other more socially oriented sites out there such as FaceBook or Pinterest.
If someone gave me the choice, lose traffic from Google or Yahoo / Bing?
To be honest with you, we’ve proved a site can survive with damn all Google love, if we lost Yahoo and Bing then that could / would have much more of a financial implication on the bottom line.
Moral of the story after the latest Google putsch?
Spend as much time with your web analytics as you can and find out where the main traffic that’s coming from Yahoo and Bing originates from and concentrate on that in the short term while Google recovers from its latest bout of anti social behaviour.