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The state of UK Search

Is it all about Google?



2:04 pm on Jun 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I was looking at my stats today and in particular a popular term that consistently ranks in either position 2 or 3 in all of the major SERPS.
The term is cheap widgets.

Results (number of visitors) were as follows:

Google .... 861
AOL ........ 35
MSN ........ 31
Yahoo ....... 4

Is this to be expected?


4:56 pm on Jun 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

97% of my search traffic comes from Google.
I enjoy equally good rankings across all the engines but nobody uses anything but Google.

I get more traffic from wikipedia than I do Yahoo, MSN & Ask put together!
In the UK people don't search, they Google things


5:03 pm on Jun 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

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

it is a very sad state of affairs in the UK the way that G controls searching and it annoys the hell out of me the way the media constantly refers to people googling to find out information, but I am seeing a slow increase from Y & MSN and I only hope that builds


5:45 pm on Jun 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Google OWN UK search by volume, but they don't top the conversion league. The problem is, when Google sends so much traffic it doesn't matter that their conversion is 50% worse than MSN.

There are some major issues with Yahoo and MSN at the moment (depth of crawl, speed of update).

We just have to accept that the UK search landscape isn't going to change soon. We need to build sites that don't rely on Google, not an easy task with limited resources.


12:32 am on Jun 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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You U.K. folk need to let your mice do the talking and spread the love around a bit, eh?



2:07 am on Jun 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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

Google doesn't OWN anything; Brits vote with their mice.

Don't blame Google for the lack of competition.


10:11 pm on Jun 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

The state of UK search engines? mmmmm - I'd say the top 2 local UK engines have to be:



then the niche UK engines after that. But feel some nich engines are on a par with the top 2, mainly as they aren't directly competing for General searchers. The niche have their own uk searchers eg: [highly targeted results]

After the niche engines come the 3rd tier General engines. I think this is accurate, and feel anything niche will just get stronger and this is what searchers now want for speed of search (not the same as results delivered).

[edited by: Helpinghand at 10:13 pm (utc) on June 7, 2007]


10:44 pm on Jun 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



They are business directories (or Internet Yellow Pages as they would be refered to in the US) rather than search engines. Great if you are looking for businesses but search is about much more than that.

Another point when discussing UK IYP's is that the above are not #1 and #2. Most UK local search still happens on Google.co.uk (only 30 Million searches a month are done at Yell.com). Roughly 1.6 billion searches are conducted each month in the UK with Google having well over a billion of those. The percentage of those 1 billion searches that fit into the strictest definition of IYP-style (either what:where, who:where or who, when what=business type & who=business name) is undoubtedly still above 3%.


3:49 pm on Jun 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

Ah, your talking about General all-purpose search. I find drilling through a massive engine time-consuming and although I use them, I get better results from specialist portals.

There are too many 'general' engines out there, and to be honest it annoys me whenever a new one crops up. They are nothing different, special or amazing than the next one, so I ignore every single one and refuse to use them, for I know what they deliever, and it's isn't what I want. I stick to maybe 2 major engines and a meta search if I'm very stuck. As for the rest - well they can carry on and ignore customer value for the next 20 years and make nothing.

Yell.com is big and all that, but I don't use them, nor do I use Thomson or webfinder (also owned by Thomson) etc. Yahoo does me fine as a starting point, but once I find another source, I even use that less and less.

I figure General search will be replaced soon enough by a string of highly specialised portals, engines and directories. Search advertising is too expensive, PPC is riddled with fraud and search is very untargeted. Oh, did I forget the mess of MFA, webmaster and personal/worship sites that invade and mess with my search experience.

Sorry but I'm a little disappointed with search at the moment, and don't see it improving much over the next 5 years. I'm 5 years on the web and haven't seen any of the majors do much expect add to their size and make bigger profits. It seems they have forgotten the searcher and advertisers.

What is the point of sending out a press release saying "Yahoo buys #*$!xx company" "profits are up for the year". Yeah, but what's in it for me - what have you done for me.....

"Oh, we have bought another company" - "No - you bought it for you, not me!"

If we want free advertising, then let the engines know that if they don't provide it, we'll go elsewhere.

Take a stand, we have the power, we are the buyers.

Any thoughts on this anyone?

[edited by: Helpinghand at 3:55 pm (utc) on June 8, 2007]


10:15 pm on Jun 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member piatkow is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

All searches on my site today were either from G itself or from third party badged G searches.

Generally I see a similar mix to StuWhite.

I am very lucky in that my traffic is pretty evenly split between search engines, links and direct entry/bookmarks. Sites that depend on their SERPS are depending on Google.


8:11 pm on Jun 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Google is easily biggest but not quite on the scale you suggest for me, just a note too that AOL is Google too I think:-

These two sets of stats below are for text searches the first for a community site

1 Google 1,168
2 Yahoo 174
3 MSN 109
4 Windows Live 39
5 AOL 28
6 AskJeeves 15
7 Tiscali 5
8 Altavista 4
9 BBC 2
10 AllTheWeb 1
11 Dogpile 1
12 HotBot 1
Total 1,547

then text search for a photo gallery site

1 Google 148
2 Yahoo 48
3 Windows Live 17
4 MSN 11
5 AOL 5
6 AskJeeves 4
7 Altavista 2
Total 235

for the gallery site these are far outnumbered by images searches from google.co.uk and google.com, whuch are -

1 No Referrer 2,745
2 [images.google.co.uk...] 253
3 [images.google.com...] 246
4 [images.google.ca...] 92


8:13 pm on Jun 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Just add a note that those sites are both on a German server with a .co.uk domain name.

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