• http://www.search-usability.com/ Shari Thurow

    Does anyone else LOVE it when Danny writes incredible headlines (headings) with great follow-up articles?

    Can’t help it, Danny. I love when you call people out (myself included).

    –Shari

  • http://www.researchandcompare.com amurphy59

    The issue with these types of link based searches doesn’t just affect the numbers, it affects advertisers too.

    The search of “police standing outside …” matched a mortgage ad. At my last company, we sold back products, most of which we sold 5 to 20 a month. We would get something like 50 to 500 clicks per month for keywords associated with such products.

    Then one day, we got 1,000s of clicks for an obscure product … we were scratching our head, where did that come from? Well, we found out through a lot of digging and some very accommodating Google reps that it was from AOL. We then figured out that it was from AOL putting links on their home page for these obscure searches that we were bidding on to identify a potential buyer.

    So, here’s the rub, we were bidding multiple dollars per click for those terms and were willing to do so because the product was a massage chair, that sells for 1000s of dollars. And only people that were really interested in buying a massage chair would put in the “exact phrase” of “Buy Massage Chair.”

    The problem with AOL went away but would pop up from time to time and I have seen it far more often with Yahoo and MSN. I have simply assumed over time that this is why quality on Google, as measured by conversion rate, is so much higher than that of Yahoo or MSN.

    So, when you say Advertisers take note … it is important that we all look at the details of what is happening to our accounts.

    Great article. Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/MichelleObama7 Clifford Bryan

    I agree Shari. That headline was the bomb.

  • http://ifdebug.com Alistair Lattimore

    While I completely agree that gaming search engine figures is grubby, at some level you’ve got to ask yourself why does anyone care really?

    The share percentages suggest 15-20% for Yahoo! but in practical terms do they actually generate that percentage of revenue for many businesses? As an example of what I’m talking about, a hotel chain in Australia gets roughly 2% of their organic traffic from Yahoo! & a comparable percentage of organic revenue.

    With figures like that, why does anyone really care if their market share is supposedly 15%, 30% or 80% – at the moment regardless of what their market share is reportedly – they don’t live up to those percentages in the real world – at least not for the business that I’m in contact with.

  • http://www.michael-martinez.com/ Michael Martinez

    Search sessions would be just as bogus as “queries performed”. The metrics companies are only measuring pageviews at this time — which is just as laughable a metric as number of unique visitors per month.

    The market is not composed who stays on the search engine sites — it is composed of who the search engines send to OTHER sites.

    Counting Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Ask, and other service’s internal site searches in the market has just turned the whole metric into nonsense.

  • http://Camares.com/blog DebDiGregorio

    Comscore, Shmomscore…Measuring searches is bogus because Google cannot deliver a satisfying user experience to save its life. People search a lot on Google CAUSE THEY CAN’T GET THE ANSWER THEY NEED. Google has trained users to go to Wikkipedia and other vortals that deliver.

  • http://www.kkti.com JVRudnick

    wow…great post Danny! Love the fact that it appears that some se’s are trying to “game” the numbers….wouldn’t a thought that possible, till now!

    makes ya wonder, eh?

    :-(

    Jim