Search Engines

By pjain      Published Aug. 29, 2020, 9:23 p.m. in blog Invest   

SE Marketing and BPRs Pragmatics ---- XFR ----

Search Engine Lessons TopTop

SE Marketing 101 BPR

Analyze your SE Results - identify gaps

You make better-informed decisions about the running of your search marketing and making the business case by modeling the returns from search engine marketing.

Search terms analysis

Search gap analysis

By using a search gap analysis you can put a quantitative estimate to the returns. Then you need to model and explain why the gaps are there.


STR: Combination of Paid and Organic Search is Powerful

% Traffic Source
53% Organic = SEO
27% Other sources - ?? what exactly is this??
15% Paid advertising
5% Organic Social

The combination of organic and paid search is powerful, with 68% of all trackable website traffic coming from a combination of the two tactics. This means that they are both more beneficial for websites than other traffics like display and social media.

You need to be smart about feeding (paying) the hungry bear.

STR: Maintaining Rank across devices - Loss of Visibility on Mobile

Ironically, only 13% of websites are able to retain ranked position across all devices. This can be a huge problem, if you find your site is on first page even in top 5, but not even appear on first page of mobile! In general 30% of top 10 results lose first page position on mobile.

71.76% of domains change rankings by one place on mobile compared to desktop, 52.16% change by three places and 29.16% change by 10 places. Although moving down one place may not seem like too big a deal. - SEMRush

Mobile Optimization is VITAL - You need to be in TOP 3 searches - PAGE IS SMALLER!

Sites in 2020 need to ensure that they are as mobile-optimized as possible and that they keep an eye on mobile rankings rather than simply keeping tracking of desktop rankings. Mobile searchers have different habits to those on desktop and so not being in the top three results could have a serious effect on your mobile traffic.

SE and Site Traffics

SE Dynamics: Key Factors, Market Structures and Status as of 2020

Market Shares

E-Commerce and SE Marketing - main source

Search Funnels esp. for E-Commerce

  • 90% VISITED an online or Store for a product or search to buy (any device) - but this is LIMITED in scope
  • 70%+ Amazon killing it of all product driven searches done
  • 81% Searched online for a product or search to buy (any device)
  • 74% actually ended have purchased online via any device

Share of Channels in Search - Mobile steadily higher

As following graph shows, as more people remained connected 24/7 due to the high mobile phone penetration across the globe, desktop searches are likely to continue to decline.

Year Mobile% Desktop% Tablet
2020-01 52% 45% 3%

Search on Mobile - June 2019 saw mobile account for 50.71% of searches, with desktop dropping down to 45.53%, tablet has been slowly declining from 3.5% as larger phones dominate, and only iPads really used as tablets - often kids are using it!

EC and mobile

  • 66% use mobile apps esp. shopping apps or on tablets - important third screen
  • 51% Purchased a product online via a mobile phone

Google pays billions to Apple to get IOS exclusive

Mobile UX is important

On mobile Google saw a big drop in August 2018 but has since seen net market share increase, meaning it started 2020 off with 92.81%. This is likely due to Google’s continued focus on the importance of mobile UX factors for SEO.

Too many ads on Google Mobile on Chrome

  • By Age groups - higher percentage use voice search at lower ages eg 50% 16-34, 44$ 35-44, 35% 45-54, and only 26% 55-64
  • By Country - 50%+ Emerging countries high like India, China, UAE, 36% EU/US, 20% Most of Rest Of World

CTR rate by ranking position top 5 On first page

The goal of SEO is to get to ranking highly i.e. top 5 positions on the first page or organic results.

This is shown by following data. The first five organic results of a search - when looking at the first page of results only - account for around 67.60% of all the clicks for a search query. In comparison, results six to ten on the first page only account for 3.73% of clicks.

The first page of results int total accounts for 71% of organic clicks, with page two and three getting just 5.59%, showing that failing to rank highly will seriously damage your traffic.

Searches done in place increasingly - to become majority of times

However just getting "seen" doesn’t guarantee a click, though.

Almost half of searches were solved without the need for a click, it does mean that organic traffic to websites as a whole is seeing a drop.

In detail, these Zero-click searches on Google have seen a steady increase over the last three years, with 49% of all US Google searches in the first quarter of 2019 ending without a click. This is a 12% rise from Q1 of 2016.

  • 49% Zero Click searches - doing the search increasingly resolved WITHIN google search page - "display ad links"
  • 41% Organic click to Non-Google sites
  • 5.9% Organic Clicks to Google Sites
  • 3.6% Paid clicks to Non-Google sites
  • 0.1% Paid clicks to Google Sites

PPC 7.3% do click on Ads - this is where Google makes its money!

It seems as though people prefer to click on organic results rather than adverts, with just 15% of all traffic either clicking on PPC ads (across multiple pages) or trying a new search.

PPC data as of 2020-04 has 7.2% of searches clicked through to a paid result. In fact, for every click to a paid result, there are 11.6 clicks to organic results, showing that a focus on SEO and click-through optimization is key.


Trying a new search - if results insufficient or too many/not filtered enough

KEY: Trust and Data Privacy hurt Google

Trust in Google has been impacted in 2018+, which could be seeing people look to alternative search engines.

STR: Smarter search for Decisions 2018? - Box in Place - Better Decision Making

Microsoft then tried to focus on helping people make decisions quickly by extracting and presenting relevant information directly on the search results page rather than requiring a click through. This was actually a great strategy that Google also pursued, and Microsoft wasn't able to do it better than Google.

However, smarter search strategy set the stage for the next era of search, which is driven by interactive AI. An increasing share of searches are coming through assistants, especially voice, and that trend is poised to dominate the next 5 years (and possibly forever). We see this with all of the devices like Amazon Echo, Google Home, and others. In this new world people expect to ask questions and receive a single simple answer. Right now their expectations aren't likely to be met even for simple queries (Google Home comes close), but it's coming soon.

In this type of search, Microsoft is much better positioned. They are unique as a competitor to Google in having a comprehensive index of the internet, structured into an equivalent to Google's Knowledge Graph. This lets their Cortana assistant answer arbitrary factual queries like “how many people live in Paris?”. Amazon and Apple are trying to replicate a subset of this functionality from scratch, but they are so far behind they probably can't catch up.

This next phase of search has very different business characteristics from today's model because you can't show ads. In order to make money, search needs to either be a feature of a paid product like Google Home or it needs to drive sales of a paid product or service like Office 365. This puts Google's revenue stream at risk, which is why Google has invested so heavily in devices. And it plays to Microsoft's strengths in business - answering questions quickly and correctly is just as important in a business context, and Microsoft has many expensive offerings to tie to their AI. So Microsoft's investment in Bing may turn out to pay off after all.

Microsoft Bing Futures

---- Microsoft Evolution : Bing having to Fit in

Waiting for AI

Merging Voice, Assistants - Cortona+

IN Skype, MSN Messenger,

Microsoft keeps Bing around because it is the centerpiece of their AI strategy.

Cloud Push - what is Bing, Search Role?

Professional Ecosystem - Office/Word/Excel for PROs, LI, Teams

Outlook, 365 subscriptions became Microsoft staples

=== BING OLD Strategy Overview

2020 - Bing Results get sparse - Is it dying?

Ad BM$ - just to pay the bills for now

Bing's ad revenues are just a bonus that helps defray the cost of the operations at Scale and AI R&D until better business models become available

Bing tried to merge with MSN, MSN Maps, Live Search to boost market share

"Bing (known previously as Live Search, Windows Live Search, and MSN Search) is a web search engine (advertised as a "decision engine") from Microsoft."

"MSN is a web portal and related collection of Internet services and apps for Windows and mobile devices, provided by Microsoft and launched on August 24, 1995."

Microsoft promoted through email, etc. but when some merged msn email account into bing account - "lost all my lifetime points and gold status!".

2015+? Yahoo Billions Paid, Getting out now ==> Acquire Staff, Partner up!

Initially Microsoft and Yahoo shared the marketing - the merger of Bing and Yahoo PPC? Specifically, I have seen a decent increase in overall Bing traffic, but have yet to see a decrease in Yahoo traffic. We use internal tracking that assigns a unique link ID/final URL to each keyword, and IDs which are specific to only Yahoo PPC keywords are still seeing a consistent level of traffic. From what I have read, the merger only affects the US as of now; however, given our Yahoo targeting settings which are primarily focused on the US, we should've seen a decent drop off in Yahoo traffic.

STR: Long term heavy R&D investment, Tech/Patents Accumulation - "To Catch up"

KNEW Can't beat Google on search quality alone

Strategy - Use Windows to Counter Google Monopoly

At first Microsoft thought it could use its browser and OS monopolies to influence people to switch to Bing. That failed.



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