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Google hit quality - compared to other search engines



3:27 pm on Aug 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

Does anyone have any impressions of the quality of the hits that they receive from Google? I mean, in general, do you feel that your Google visitors are more or less likely to be buyers, webmasters, info seekers or other characters.

I ask this question because I have always felt that my site needs 10 times the amount of Google hits to make a sale, than that of the Yahoo's, MSN's and Ask hits. The recent upset to my site visitors from Google's updates has shown me that I only lose relatively small amounts of revenue (I don't participate in Adwords etc, just client orders) when Google pull the plug on my hits. In my hayday I was getting an average of 15'000 visitors from Google per day and very few would ever go to the contact pages or order forms.

I'd be interested to see if there are any particular industries where Google excels at getting the deal finalised or others like mine (photographic & design) where they seem to be flat.

All the Best

Col :-)


4:26 pm on Aug 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

According to Google analytics... :-)

My site gets 50% of it's sales from Google with 80% of the traffic. That means that the other 50% comes from direct, yahoo and MSN etc.

Out of all the stats though I find that MSN visitors (although few and far between) convert the best.

If I had 80% traffic via MSN, I could retire :)


4:44 pm on Aug 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

I find the same, except I have really seen a rise in MSN activity recently. I used to see only a thousand or so visitors from MSN, today I have had nearly 4000 and the day isn't over yet. I'm enjoying the extra time that I have got now that I am not having to adjust for Google all the time. MSN seem able to cope with any change and they update my site listings within a couple of days.

All the Best

Col :-)


5:47 pm on Aug 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

We have the following conversion rates (resulting in a sale) from the search engines:

2.4% Google
5.3% Yahoo
0.8% MSN

Google sends us much more traffic (10 times as much as Yahoo) but they tend to be more generic phrases.

However, one of our keywords in Google results in a 25% conversion rate.

Conversion rates very much depend on the quality of the keyword phrase used and where they are in the SERP.

If you have exactly the same keywords in exactly the same positions in all search engines then it would be possible to draw comparisons between them to determine visitor 'quality'. If not, then there are many other factors involved, in particular keyword quality, Meta titles and descriptions used.

[edited by: Chris_H at 5:48 pm (utc) on Aug. 22, 2006]


7:21 pm on Aug 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

We're all optimizing for G and only few are optimizing for MSN (right?).
I guess due to optimization we attract even ppl that are not interested in us, just to #*$! our logs.


9:25 pm on Aug 22, 2006 (gmt 0)


You're spot on, it is the quality of the keyword or phrase that makes the diffence. I get far higher single words on MSN than on Google, also my keywords are far more accurate on MSN & Yahoo. My Google pertinency really stinks at present (i.e. widgetshotel widgetstown - when I have nothing of the sort). Even Jeeves gets me now and then with a big spender + thanks oh dickie-bowed one).

Google, clean yourself up

Col :-)


9:55 pm on Aug 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

I just don't get enough "targeted" visitors from MSN to compare.
Between Gooo and Yahooo in natural free searches Yahoooo does not even compare. Gooogle is the best on conversions through natural serps. Don't even ask me about ASK....They cheat.

PPC between Goo and Yahooo? I would not trust a portal like Y for PPC.

I'm sure many minor sectors have MANY opinions....


11:13 pm on Aug 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

For one of my sites, according to google analytics:
Google - 0.76%
Yahoo - 1.08%
MSN - 1.46%
Direct traffic - 1.43% (off line ads)
Refferal traffic - 0.35% (affiliate program)

For the other site:
Google - 8.92%
Yahoo - 13.71%
MSN - 12.44%
Direct traffic - 12.19% (off line ads)
Refferal traffic - 5.38% (affiliate program)

Search engine traffic split:
60-70% Google
20-30% Yahoo
10-20% MSN

Overall traffic:
40% - direct
40% - other (referral)
10% - google
5% - yahoo
5% - msn + others...

Right Reading

2:11 am on Aug 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I agree with Chris H that without "exactly the same keywords in exactly the same positions" it's difficult to make definitive judgments. But throughout most of these posts there seems to be a significantly lower conversion rate for Google than others. I wonder if it's related to their algorithm or to their market share -- maybe their users are different. Any theories about what accounts for the difference?

[edited by: Right_Reading at 2:11 am (utc) on Aug. 23, 2006]


2:22 am on Aug 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Here's a theory -- Google users are more likely to gather information and do research before buying.


2:29 am on Aug 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

Another point I do notice from my historic stats is that Google visits always seem to be one page wonders. My Yahoo & MSN etc visitors are much more likely to browse my site after their initial entry. This must be due to the difference in the type of visitor (i.e. webmaster investigating competition) as Right Reading was saying.


2:37 am on Aug 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Here's a theory -- Google users are more likely to gather information and do research before buying.

And then what? They switch over to Yahoo when they decide to buy? :)

Indeed this subject is worthy of a thesis in marketing, metrics, and social sciences.

Could it be as simple(or as complicated) as the Yahoo layout vs. G layout?
Different demographics?
Why do "cash in hand buyers" use Yahoo more than G?
Or what is it about Google's site that make people "procrastinate"

I don't buy the G users like to "research more" argument. (at least for my "markets")
I still get higher conversions for Yahoo buyers at SERP rankings that are much lower (but still on front page) than I do for G buyers at #1-2 position for identical keywords.

In those markets, the top 10 simply shuffle positions among the 3 engines and searchers aren't going to need to do "too much research" overall.

They check 3-5 sites(if that) on the first page, compare prices/features and then decide to buy. Yet Yahoo always wins for conversions.


2:41 am on Aug 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

strange...My MSN stats are ~ 3X the usual rate. I wonder if MSN has changed something.

As far as google: since my main site is doing bad, google sucks :). In all seriousness, I think this is a huge problems for SEs. Everyone now knows about SEO and bought links are all over the internet. We might go through "MSN is better this update", then Yahoo, and Google and so on, as they try to adapt to what they think is the best strategy.


3:29 pm on Aug 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

>>>Everyone now knows about SEO and bought links are all over the internet<<<

I think you're right and I also think it's definately the reason that Google results are so up and down. If Google give weight to incoming links so much and they are for always applying penalties to sites for link farming etc, then we are going to see this yo-yo effect where sites are at the top one month, page 50 the next.

IMHO Google need to move away from this "incoming links are a sign of a good site" philosophy and either have a "pay for listing only for commercial keyphrases" or "no-return ban for cheats". Either of these will keep the cheats from flooding the search engines with rubbish.

Meanwhile, I'll just keep accepting MSN's generously high listings and leave Google well alone until this situation is resolved once and for all.

All the Best

Col :-)


5:17 pm on Aug 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Been seeing the same here for MSN too. In fact, this month for several sites, MSN has beat out G. Haven't seen this since last year.

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