27 March 2011

So You Think Your Search Engine Advertising Is Worth it?

Hmmm you might JUST want to think again about that after you read this story.

Lately I have been looking at the effectiveness of search. I think you may have read some of my pieces about the way search is handled and underpinning much of this is my view that Search has been gamed so badly as to have lost its effectiveness. So here is some data to support that theory.

User Experience research company User Centric did a controlled study to evaluate the effectiveness of the Organic vs Advertising Results in Search Engines. You can find a version of this from eMarketer here

In this study the eyeball movement was monitored. The results showed that ads were largely ignored. The organic results being much more effective and garnering the attention of the user. Interestingly in my view – there is more data to show that things are not going so well for search not just in this area.

eMarketer search results study shows a decline in results and effectiveness of search since 2004 vs 2010.

Compounding this fact is that the effectiveness of Google starts to come under scrutiny with its results – despite being far more voluminous – not being as effective as Bing and Yahoo.

In the case of Travel with only 15% of all searches starting at the Googleplex – this shows there is some disruption to the model. Maybe ITA should up the price to Big GOOG.


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