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Tranasactional search queries

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Sunday April 13, 2008 )

I’ve always been curious as to how search engines are used, particularly in relation to the number of queries that are ecommerce related. This study sheds a little light on the topic.

Researchers from College of Information Sciences and Technology at Pennsylvania State University carried out a study last year of over 1.5 million search queries performed by hundreds of thousands of users and found that around 80% of Web queries are informational in nature, with about 10% each being navigational and transactional. Transactional queries are the ka-ching ones.

According to a recent Comscore report, Americans conducted 9.9 billion searches at the core search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN, AOL and Ask) during February 2008. So based on the uni’s research findings, nearly 1 billion of those searches would have been transactional in nature. Add to that the myriad of minor search engines, expand it to a global level and it’s easy to understand why ecommerce is still in comparatively great shape even in a shakey economy.

It still surprises me how many sites haven’t cottoned on to search engine optimization being a crucial part of online success – even just attending to some of the basics such as keyword/phrase rich content, meta-tag, title tag and anchor text optimization – and the number of splash pages; which serve no purpose except to annoy repeat visitors in my opinion, is also quite curious.

If the company you work for is still behind the times in relation to optimization; bounce the stats mentioned off them and it may help change their minds about how they allocate their marketing resources.


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2 comments for Tranasactional search queries
  1. If 80% of searches are informational, then I should make sure I include a healthy dose of informational based content to my site. This should help me capture some of that traffic. It should also help with my conversion ratio.

    Comment by Troy Duncan — April 13, 2008 @ 7:47 am

  2. That’s a good way to look at it Troy – nice point :)

    Comment by Michael Bloch — April 14, 2008 @ 3:56 pm

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