NFFC, thanks for the link. What about the UK? I've always thought that the US-based figures are tainted by the "more advanced" Internet society in the USA. They tend to embrace technology better than we do here in the UK.
Videoman - I think you've hit the nail on the head. I've spoken to my clients, my friends and colleagues and many simply use the portal supplied. This is a tremendous boon to firms like freeserve with its huge adience. Even some of my more "switched on" clients use the portal they were supplied with, "...because it's easy."
I don't beleive our efforts at SEO are in vain as services like INK will show up in the portals. Perhaps the UK portals will start to generate more traffic for my clients as time passes. How long should they wait?
I also beleive that the huge influence of Yahoo will continue, whether it be UK or .com. In actual fact, we get a good number of referals out of Yahoo UK, unlike any other service in the UK.
The UK has a way to go and the switch by AV to generate traffic for its uk service may take time to bed in. I hope they get traffic as it will benefit me and my clients significantly - I do nto have to "compete" with "big bucks" us-based sites to optimise and position. I suspect that the us-based sites will not spend so much effort in SEO for country-specific services - at least i hope not;)
I do think that it is VERY IMPORTANT to know positioning within the services like INK and which portals are working. This helps me to decide which portals are worth considering for advertising. More work to do - it will never end!