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MSN Ranks Well With Conversions; Google, Not So Much

A survey of which major search engine results in the best conversion rate puts AOL as #1, and Google dead last. The study tracks visitors who go from the search engine to business-to-consumer e-commerce sites, and how often they buy something.

Search Engine
Median (All Categories)

This does mesh with what we know of users of these engines, Google may be extraordinarily popular, but its users are less likely to be swayed by advertisements, or as the release explains it:

“One way to explain the difference in conversion rates is demographics,” said Ali Behnam, senior digital marketing consultant for WebSideStory. “With portals rich in content and services, AOL, MSN and Yahoo may tend to appeal toward a more buyer friendly demographic. Google, meanwhile, may appeal to more browsers – those with less of an intent to buy.”

“All of this suggests search engine marketers may want to consider demographics in allocating their budgets,” Behnam said.

One thing to consider, with MSN converting 50% above Google, it could conceivably have less market share and earn more money. Perhaps MSN should have bought and used their cost-per-action ad system, which would have worked perfectly with their audience.

Interestingly, the less a website caters to the Google crowd, the more money it makes per visitor. I remember that back when Jeeves had almost a full page of ads (around a year ago), it was getting many more ad clicks per visitor than Google. Problem is, the less you are like Google, the more you make per visitor, and the less visitors you get. So, its a catch-22, one that, if balanced properly, can result in lots of money.
(via Search Engine Roundtable)

February 17th, 2006 Posted by | AskJeeves, General, Google, MSN, Search, Yahoo | one comment

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