Has anyone done a study on which search engines big online spenders use?
My site traffic fluctuates +,- 30% when Google indexes my site one month, then drops it the next month. By my sales volume only seems to fluctuate about 10% when this happens, maybe even less. I'm wondering if Google with it's cute name and colorful logo attracts a bunch of kids.
I've also noticed sales move up nicely when my MSN traffic increases, but I can't put hard numbers on this.
Can anyone contribute opinions or hard numbers to the e-commerce demographics of search engines?
Nothing in print that I recall, but I'd say anecdotal evidence passed through WebmasterWorld over the last year seems to confirm your site's performance record for non-tech sites. My own travel & relocation sites do much the same as yours, MSN seeming to be the better cashier. I don't rank well in AOL, but -again- anecdotal evidence is that AOL-ers come out slightly more intent on transacting business.
I have always found that the sales vary with the demographic group that a product most appeals to. Whether the divide is one of gender, age, profession, or whatever else, the various search engines do tend to appeal to different demographic groups.
Why do some users prefer to 'ask questions' using AskJeeves rather than have access to the much larger databases of FAST or Google?
Why do others place the speed and simplicity of the google interface as more attractive than all the links to email, chat, auctions or whatever on the portal search engines?
Think of the demographic you are appealing to yourself, and then try to determine which search engine would most appeal to those same kinds of people.
If you are selling something that promises more efficiency to the 'wise' buyer then Google will probably be your best referrer. If you are selling something that helps the less independant or technical types then perhaps MSN, AOL or Yahoo! will be your best referrers.
Without correctly identifying our own demographic appeal, we can't really discern much about the demographics of the search engines.