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Jun 4, 2004

STATS: Paid versus Natural Search Clicks

The Search Marketing Advisor Newsletter Article: 
June 2004, Volume 3, Issue 2

SEO at iProspect.com.

The Natural SEO vs. Paid Search Relevancy Debate

by Heather Molina, Alg
Looking at how result relevancy was split between the genders, both men and women found natural search results as the best answer for their query. However, it is important to note that a higher percentage of women than men find value in paid search advertisements. This means that for sites where the intended focus is for women, targeting some paid search ads in online marketing strategies would be wise. 

Employment and educational status findings suggested that more partially employed or unemployed users and non-college graduate users found paid search ads more relevant, over fully employed users and college graduate users. However, the majority of users in both categories found natural search results to be more relevant than paid search ads. The larger portion indicates that for a site which targets the unemployed or non-college graduate, there is a higher value in placing paid search advertisements. 

Looking at overall Internet experience and use, iProspect found that the longer a person has been using the Internet and the more often they log on, the higher the instance of the user preferring natural search results over paid search results. A strong correlation between education level and the experience of the Internet user suggests that the higher the education level and the longer and more frequent the Internet use, the more sophisticated the Internet user. 
Ed: Low education, poor people more likely to click paid ads. 

How could searchers be ignoring sponsored listings if search engines are pulling down billions of dollars on click based fees? Heading back to a June, 2005 Harris Interactive study on search behavior, data indicates that  56 percent of those surveyed do not know the difference between natural and paid search listings, and 51 percent of the search engine users who do know the difference prefer natural results.

Daily Search Forum Recap: March 18, 2008

Quality of Microsoft adCenter Traffic Falling?
A WebmasterWorld thread reports that several Microsoft adCenter advertisers are recently unhappy with the quality of traffic they are seeing from adCenter. The conversion rates on adCenter, as reported by a few advertisers, has been as low as ever. WebmasterWorld senior member, ByronM, posted some recent stats showing his concern. Based on over 200 clicks (not impressions, but clicks): Google has a 3.9% conversion rate Yahoo has a 2.2% conversion rate Microsoft has a 0.0%

Ed: Flypaper beats natural SEO. Accidental+habitual clicks approximate paid clicks. Bottom-line is 3% retention. Probability no statistical difference between Google, Yahoo, Microsoft.

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