"I'm not quite ready to cede everything to the plex"
I'll agree with that :) Although I almost always see Google in the Top3 for reffers with the majority of our sites. Yahoo or MSN is almost always #1. If your site is targeting the average Joe (or jane :) )... don't discount the newbie's "favorite" engines or you'll be passing up money...
Last 18 hours 50 minutes:
[root httpd]# grep google combined-access ¦ grep 'q=' ¦ grep -v cache ¦ grep -v images.google -c
[root httpd]# grep search.msn combined-access ¦ grep 'q=' -c
That's across a few hundred sites (not all mine). Most of them are pretty small. Usually the ratio is slightly more stacked towards Google.
My favourite metric: "From the top referring phrase, how far down the list do you need to go to accumulate 50% of referrals". On my best sites it can be 200 (i.e. the top 200 referring phrases account for 50% of traffic). It makes me think that the word research wasn't for nothing.:)
Looks like a good topic forming... split from the Tracking thread
>>>don't discount the newbie's "favorite" engines or you'll be passing up money...
That's right Seth. Google could be tossing referrals left and right but if the customers don't pay then I could care less. Bring me the users who have their wallets within arm's reach of their computer and I'm happy. More times then not, at least for my sites, those users come from the newbie favorites: AOL, MSN, and Yahoo. :)
|brotherhood of LAN|
RC, since you quoted me i guess ill just elaborate for my sake if anyones :)
I say that in an inaccurate way, quite true. Its just that google is my biggest SE referrer by far, and google.yahoo.com and google directory etc etc makes up a majority of my combined referrals
That said, I do get decent MSN referrals and the other small engines, but because Im OK in Google, the knock on effect is good in yahoo etc. Coincidentally, I got a good yahoo listing last month, which has bumped up my ranks in google, which should in turn rank me better in yahoo when they get the fresh google results
In that sense, google rules :) it covers a majority of that aspect of my stats (The SE Referrals)
Ive never used PPC, but im beginning to explore Zeal a little further....just my experience :)
"Its just that google is my biggest SE referrer by far"
That means your right on track :) I would expect that when targeting the science community your demographics are generally tech savvy. Which means that google should be your #1 reffer.
I think most people here are a fan of google and uses them for the majority of there own searches. We just can let the googlemania blind us from targeting other SE's expecially those of us who's products/services cater to a less tech savvy crowd.
>My favourite metric: "From the top referring phrase, how far down the list do you need to go to accumulate 50% of referrals". On my best sites it can be 200 (i.e. the top 200 referring phrases account for 50% of traffic). It makes me think that the word research wasn't for nothing.
We often hear that google is the only "free" spidering engine. That should be qualified... other engines are spidering your pages to provide backfill to their paid SERPs. We had a thread a month ago about harvesting traffic from secondary terms, which directly relates to ciml's favorite metric -and it's still free traffic from the likes of MSN.
On some of the sites I work with I don't worry about Google at all. If they happen to list the sites that is great but I don't feel like it is the end of the world if they don't. Yahoo and MSN are generating more than enough traffic for me in most cases.
That said, I am in the process of building a site specifically for Google more just to see if I can do it than anything else.
Are we to assume that all the rankings across all referrers are the same?
Otherwise, google referals stats comparisons(or any other engine referral comparisons) are based on reverse or "counterintuitive" logic. Meaning that a high ranking google page will pull better than a low ranking page at MSN.
We have one site that pulls over 80% from google. Of course it is ranked top three for key phrases.
Similar to checking referral logs for search terms that produce hits. Those are frequently mistaken for the most "popular" terms for the site.
Nope. They are again, reverse logic.. those are just the terms that ranked highly and/or produced, and frequently have no bearing on popularity and potential of the search term itself.
"I get 20 visitors a day from mispelling "widgit"! Hey, I'll optimize ALL of my pages for Widgit!<sigh>
...just pondering... and avoiding important work..;)
If my pages were to rank high in Google I am sure that it would out produce Yahoo and MSN. Many of my sites aren't listed at all in Google and I am fine with that. A #1 listing on Google will probably draw more traffic than a #1 listing on Yahoo or MSN.
>Are we to assume that all the rankings across all referrers are the same?
Speaking for a long-standing, general interest site that ranks pretty consistently across the SE spectrum (except AOL) [webmasterworld.com], MSN can and does out-perform Google. Also, this site receives much of its traffic from "halo" domains and pages (wide and deep content) designed to harvest those secondary or obscure terms.
yahoo is still huge, and king, for some audiences
I have one site optimised for Yahoo - most of the referrals come from Yahoo.
Sites optimised for Google - most referrals come from Google for those sites.
MSN and AOL are around joint 3rd on average for my sites - but I havn't optimised for them.
Surely the most popular SE is the one that YOU optimised for (deliberately or accidently)?
|brotherhood of LAN|
I dont optimise for any, I optimise for my site. I guess that sounds and probably is amateurish.
Its a content site, and, as more or less stated, google loves these sorta sites. Indeed, its my best referrer, but also, the site is new and google is the SE most likely to deliver the goods straight off, free of charge
The content is factual, thus is fixed. There are X amount of sites already gonna be in the SE's with similar factual content. I simply optimise for the largest search terms relevant to the page :) but anyways, off topic
Yahoo > They are my highest referrer for the last eight days, in front of google, who is in front of MSN. I dunno how much the holidays have influcenced this, and I cannot know *much* for definite because its a growing site and stats are relatively unstable. But a good Y! category listing certainly does no harm at all. In that respect, def. not google-all-the-time.
Im beginning to reap the benefits of MSN. I now see why so many people have MSN in the top end of their SE referrers.
But google, on average remains a large referrer purely because of the above...but is nothing compared to bookmarked referrals or non SE URL referrals
>>google loves these sorta sites<<
Absolutely true, BOL. Google seems to be the one search engine that really sorts through large amounts of content, figure out what the site as well as the individual pages are about, and direct searchers to those pages. One site I work with gets well over half its traffic from Google, but only 20% of that Google traffic is from "high volume" keywords; the rest is from very small numbers of referrals to individual content pages.
>Surely the most popular SE (for you) is the one that YOU optimised for (deliberately or accidently)?
Bingo! That's a great point. How many site owners have google as their top SE and simply assume that it's the best referrer out there? It's like keywords, I know which ones are my top ones, it's the ones I don't know about that keep worrying me.
>>One site I work with gets well over half its traffic from Google, but only 20% of that Google traffic is from "high volume" keywords; the rest is from very small numbers of referrals to individual content pages.<<
That's true of my site, too. I rank high for several important keywords and get a fair amount of traffic from them, but the bulk of my Google referrals are from highly targeted search strings.
I would be really interested to hear experiences/recommendations for 'sector specific' search engines and directories with a US, UK, EU or global reach.
I am not talking about very general business resources, rather those which target searchers for specific information. Even academic engines which welcome 'commercial' submissions which actually contain useful information for their audience.
I have a theory that if there were a few more like this they could deliver the kind of qualified and targeted traffic to clients which used to be available from the SE landscape in general a few years ago.
I also think that they would be good revenue generators for the engine and media owners - provided their inclusion policies were strictly relevant to the sector or sector segment in question.