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Traffic Seems Off

high rank, but low traffic for single word

6:20 pm on Oct 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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joined:Mar 16, 2004
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I've been seeing some odd traffic results for good listings and did some poking around.

I have a UK site ranking #2 on the UK version of Live (and MSN UK) for a single keyword that gets 90k searches a month according to Overture UK (wish I knew how many on Live). Unfortunately, that equates to only a couple visitors a day. Why so few clicks for what seems to be a relatively popular keyword?

I've checked the results remotely and they're not just a figment of my imagination, so what might be up?

7:22 pm on Oct 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Okay, just had somebody in the UK check to make sure it wasn't showing different results for UK surfers vs US surfers, and we're #1, yet we're still seeing very few clicks. It just seems odd that a #1 ranking for a popular single word search wouldn't produce more than a few clicks a day.

Any ideas?

11:15 pm on Oct 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Its not worth many clicks because msn dont have much reach. In real terms i think its like this:-

Google 75%
Yahoo 12%
MSN 6%
Ask 5%
Others 2%

Others may disagree but from all the sites i work on in the uk its on average around the above figures, so a number 1 position in msn is worth about position 20 in google

Thats why the spammers havent hit msn very hard yet. However, that being said clicks are clicks no matter which search engine they come from and they all count and spammers are moving into the more commercial areas of the msn search as a result.

Also, you would need to rank for variations of your keyword. Just being one for a set keyword phrase doesnt mean anyone is searching on it. But if the same keyword phrase in google produces 100 clicks you can expect say 6 as a very rough benchmark but many factors have to be taken into account including the search pattern of msn search users in relation to google users

Hope this helps

[edited by: RichTC at 11:16 pm (utc) on Oct. 29, 2006]

12:00 am on Oct 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hi Rich, thanks. Those numbers sound like what I've read, but it still seems like there should be more traffic in it.

According to Overture UK, the single word does 90,000 searches a month, so even with diminished market share (6% compared to Yahoo's 12%), we're still talking something like 45,000 searches a month for MSN UK. The numbers may be off, even by a lot, but all in all it seems like we should be seeing more than a couple uniques a day.

We do target a much broader set of phrases under the category, but the single word is popular and a good indicator of how the site is doing overall. Everything looks good but the traffic...

BTW, SEO Blackhat has sort of an interesting tool along these lines. I can't verify its accuracy and it's based on AOL, so US based numbers, but it's interesting link bait all the same - [seoblackhat.com...]

Thanks again.