We've been studying very close what the new enhanced aol, alta, every-dog-on-the-block Goto has been producing. What am I seeing is, although click through rates have increased, conversion rates fell 20 to 30 percent in late december compared to Oct. I'd think 5-10% of that could be written off as seasonal surfing habits, but the rest?
Could it just be that people are getting tired of goto? We've seen it happen in the other major search engines. They get too big, and their hits become less and less relevant. And click-through ratios suffer. Add to that more and more indexes vying for the same number of surfers, and with the popularity of page linking the concept that people only need to find one result and surf along the links pages until they find what they want?
Call it the flooded-market,tired-surfer,over-indexed,search-engine-reversal-trend with a side of restructuritis plaguing the overall market...
>> conversion rates fell 20 to 30 percent in late december compared to Oct.
The same pattern here. GoTo adds partner sites --> clicks go up --> conversions go down --> bids go down as a result.
Wasn't it about the same time that GoTo also "enhanced" their keyword bids so that plurals and singulars were considered the same word? Other kinds of kw blurring went on as well, such as the compound and split-up versions of words now count as one word, etc. All of which makes it harder to target precisely.