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Hot and Cold

     
7:00 pm on Feb 20, 2001 (gmt 0)

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I finally punched out the numbers for percentage referrals on my own site across the SEs. For most of the majors, they are drawing off similar keywords and positioning. Not included is Excite where I have no listings. Here is what I've come up with:

search.yahoo.com 19.2%
search.msn.com 15.4%
google.com 12.8%
altavista.com 9.7%
google.yahoo.com 5.9%
askjeeves 5.7%
go.com 4.3%
hotbot.com 2.7%
lycos.com 2.3%
looksmart.com 2.1%
netscape.com .9%
metacrawler.com .7%
other 18%

These domains include their variants (askjeeves = aj.com, ask.com etc). Most of hotbot referrals coming from directhit. Other includes Iwon, Fast, Nbci, AOL.

Conclusions:

For a tech related site, AOL is pretty much worthless although the rankings are excellent. Netscape is also a low referrer. Therefore, ODP is not a real helper in this case other than link popularity. Inktomi is also nearly worthless although rankings are very good there. The importance of Directhit (AskJeeves, Lycos, Hotbot) is obvious. The Inktomi engines aren't worth much. Fast has been the gateway into Lycos but even that doesn't produce well. Probably most of the Lycos referrals coming from Directhit results.

It seems like the major promotion for me happens through Yahoo, Looksmart (MSN results), Google, AltaVista, and Directhit. I wouldn't fret over the other "major engines", I would spend a lot of time getting on topic links to my site.

For further comparisons, check out this thread [webmasterworld.com...] which emphasized the relationship of Yahoo to the rest of the engines.

7:13 pm on Feb 20, 2001 (gmt 0)

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I have seen similar numbers (I am too lazy to get the exact figures) for the most part in some sites I have worked with. I agree that AOL doesn't do much for tech sites but it does do very well for more consumer related sites that sell commom products. The more specific and specialized the products, the worse they do on AOL as far as referrals. Engines like Direct Hit, Dogpile, and Metacrawler have also suprised me with the amount of traffic they send.