June 19th, 2007
Every morning I wake up and launch Sage (an RSS feed reader for Firefox), which is a great way to view a summary of all your favorite blog posts quickly. This morning I opened up an interesting little post, titled Yahoo Traffic Jam, from a company called Apogee Search.
The blog post pointed me at a press release on comScore that summarizes web traffic for May 2007. According to their analysis, Yahoo! sites garnered 10 million more unique visitors than Google sites during the entire month of May; 130MM and 120MM respectively. Also, Yahoo! ads had a greater reach to all internet traffic than did Google ads; 73% vs. 64%. My first instinct, after reading numbers like these, is to question their validity. Where did the numbers come from? How were the numbers obtained? How big was the sample size? If you scroll to the bottom of the comScore article you will see the following explanation:
This capability is based on a massive, global cross-section of more than 2 million consumers who have given comScore permission to confidentially capture their browsing and transaction behavior, including online and offline purchasing.
Anyone who’s suffered through a statistics class knows that a sample size of 2 million is more than enough to get an accurate measure of web traffic. So, what do these numbers really mean? After all, Google is still the behemoth that dominates 80%+ of search traffic, right? Well, according to these numbers, Google is coming in second place for unique visitors and I’m not so sure that we (SEO’ers) are targeting the right search engine.
Now, let me take a step back. More unique visitors to Yahoo! sites than Google sites does not mean that there are more searches done on Yahoo! than Google; I think that is fairly obvious. It simply means that more people are visiting the Yahoo! suite of sites, like Finance and Sports, instead of the Google suite. But to me, an internet marketer by trade, it means that there are more eyes on that Yahoo! suite than the Google suite and maybe we should re-think our targeting strategy a little to be more compliant with the actual results.
We all spend countless hours targeting both Yahoo! and Google, usually in proportion to the search traffic (approx. 15% and 80% respectively). But, with these numbers, does it make sense to spend a disproportionate amount of time targeting both of these giants? I really don’t know the answer to that unless I actually spend some time testing out the strategy to see its effects. I do know that I’m going to tweak my methodology a little to see what happens. Maybe there’s an opportunity, within these numbers, to see some gains in website traffic. What do you think?
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