Audience size doesn’t count says report

Companies using search marketing need to look beyond the size of a search engine’s audience when choosing where to spend their budget for buying keywords, the latest research says.

According to online research specialist Nielsen/NetRatings, which has just released its first MegaView Search report specifically comparing audiences and click-through rates, those search engines with the biggest audiences do not always deliver the best return on investment (ROI).

Looking at the figures for December 2004, Nielsen/NetRatings found that Google had the biggest audience and the best click-through rates during December 2004, with Yahoo! in second place for both. But further down the field the picture was rather different.

Ask Jeeves, which had the third-biggest audience, ranked ninth in terms of click-through, while MSN Search, with the fourth-biggest audience, ranked seventh by click-through. By contrast, AltaVista, which ranked 15th in audience terms, placed third in click-through rates. Similarly, Tiscali, 12th in audience terms, was fourth in terms of click-throughs.

Nielsen/NetRatings head of data analytics Tim Roe says: “When it comes to placing keywords on search engines, a bigger audience is not always better. Understanding that the smaller search engines can be as successful as some of the larger ones in generating click-throughs can help companies to improve their ROI and make their promotional spend go further.”

Latest from Marketing Week

Marketing through the ages: The 2000s bring the dilemmas of digital

As part of our 40th birthday celebration, we asked previous editors to sum up marketing and Marketing Week during their time at the helm. Ruth Mortimer was editor in the early 2010s as the impact of digital led to real challenges over scale versus consolidation of power, audience versus context and personal versus personalisation.

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here