Nielsen Online just released data regarding search engine traffic and the information is quite interesting.  From March 2008 through March 2009 overall search engine traffic is up by nearly 17%.  That’s a big number and ties in with other findings suggesting that search engines are quickly replacing the Yellow Pages when people want to connect with businesses.

Google 300x116 - Search Engine Market Share ImplicationsBoth Google and Yahoo saw growth but Google is still the dominant force in search with over 64% of the market share and roughly 28% year-over-year growth.  Yahoo is in second place with almost 16% market share and roughly 2% growth.

In fact, if you add up Google, Yahoo, MSN /Live, AOL, and Ask -these five sites represent about 96% of all search engine traffic.

By comparison, all combined Yellow Pages online search engines (such as DEX) account for just 0.4% of all search requests.

Given this information:

  • Avoid paying extra fees in Yellow Page advertising for insertion into their search engines -as there simply isn’t a significant value in potential results.
  • Avoid using one of the so-called search engine optimization experts that will place you into “thousands” of websites.  These are of little to now value.
  • Be careful about using advertising dollars in search engines that have little to no traffic.  Pay-per-click advertising should be concentrated in Google and then Yahoo.

Our conclusion:  A properly constructed search engine strategy will concentrate on the top 5 search engines and that is it.

Here are the full year-over-year stats from Nielsen:

Provider Searches (000) YOY Growth Share of Searches
All Search 9.522,853 16.7% 100.0%
Google 6,113,906 27.6% 64.2%
Yahoo! 1,505,426 1.7% 15.8%
MSN /Windows Live 982,661 0.3% 10.3%
AOL 356,569 6.6% 3.7%
Ask 197,957 -0.7% 2.1%
My Web 59,597 -15.1% 0.6%
Comcast 57,605 30.2% 0.6%
Yellow Pages (all) 37,295 N/A 0.4%
NexTag 22,432 -23.7% 0.2%
Dogpile 19,461 0.7% 0.2%
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