Sgt_Kickaxe - 9:30 am on Jan 6, 2013 (gmt 0)
My concern is that Google may not be sufficiently intelligent enough to differentiate this
I'm sure they are plenty smart enough but choose not the differentiate, for whatever reason.
I have an older site which has fantastic user interaction but I cannot get traffic from Google to this site if the visitor's search terms hinted at wanting to buy a product, and likely from visitors Google thinks are likely to buy.
I have another site that gets a high CTR for impressions in search and it receives more traffic than the site with a better UI despite getting far fewer total impressions. This site is purely informational so it *feels* like product based sites have it tough right now, if they are not a known brand.
I think Google is rating the CTR of your impressions in search quite strongly and with a high degree of granularity based on the keywords being searched for. I'm seeing results from titles that don't hint at a product for sale and that don't have a brand or product name in them.
An idea: Create a site that allows you to search for a keyword but randomizes which of the big three search engines you are sent to. Afterwards your input is requested as to wether or not you were satisfied by the results. This, in time, could create an extremely granular data set on which search engine is the best choice for specific keyword searches.
Imagine that, you type in some search keywords and are taken to the best engine as determined by previous searchers. I'd love to see the tables turned on search where they are held accountable for the quality of their results on a PER KEYWORD basis!
A little historical graph showing search engine trends for each keyword would be awesome, I'd use it instead of wasting time checking all three engines.