So what happened in the world of Search today? That’s not always an easy question to answer, but over the next few weeks, I’m going to endeavor to break down the Big Story of the day, of course with an eye for small business and local SEO.
By its nature, search engine optimization can be esoteric, and the terminology and advanced knowledge of online marketing required just to understand what’s going are beyond the “average bear.” Bearing that in mind (pardon the pun), I’m going to focus on explaining to readers — in plain English — what the hot topic, trend of the week or news of the day actually means, what impact it may have, and how it applies to you. I welcome your questions and comments. So let’s get started!
Citi Releases Report on Google’s Local Search Market Opportunities
We all know Google is the dominant player in search, but just how dominant? And how are they going to maintain that dominance? Those are two questions Citigroup Investment Research analyst Mark Mahaney attempts to answer in his March 21 report. The report, based on comScore data from 35 top web properties, gauges traffic to six online markets: retail, travel, finance, media, auto and health.
Google is the top traffic driver for 26 of those 35 websites, the report says, and the lion’s share of that traffic (69%) has either increased or stayed the same over the past year. However, Google-driven traffic to media-related websites is dropping… just 20% of those sites saw stability or gains in traffic.
Facebook, meanwhile, drove more traffic to all five of thew web’s top five media sites, according to Citi. Despite this, “Facebook is not [yet] taking share form Search budgets,” Mahaney writes.
As far as local search goes, Citi estimates the total local online ad market at $16.6 billion annually. The search giant need only capture 10% of that market to make it a billion-dollar business segment, Mahaney reports. And when you look at mobile search, which is closely tied to local, Mahaney hints that the search giant’s market share is even greater than its share for computer-based searches.
So what are the takeaways for you, the local business owner?
- Google, with its Tags, Places and Boost products, is going to continue to be a large part of your local online marketing budget.
- Don’t assume a Facebook business page is going to replace your website anytime soon.
- If your business is highly media-driven, consider bolstering your Facebook presence, (but see #2 above).