Which Search Engines Matter?


For quite a while now, I’ve been on this on-going “battle” to work on Search Engine Optimization (SEO – if you want to sound cool) for my own site.  I’ve had some good success, not perfect, but still pretty good.  As of right now (Tuesday, morning, August 11, 2009) here’s where I stand for Fort Wayne Web Design:

  1. Google – 9th (still on the first page)
  2. Bing (MSN) – 3rd
  3. Yahoo – 2nd

So, what I find really interesting about the results is the question: based on the rankings above, which sites would you assume send me the most traffic?

Well, the obvious answer would be Yahoo, followed by Bing.  After all, I have a much higher ranking on those two search engines.  And, while I am on the first page of Google, I’m not “above the fold” – meaning that my site won’t appear on most monitors – you would have to scroll down.  So, all this adds up to mean that you would think that I would get a significant amount of traffic from sources like yahoo and bing.

But (and I know you can sense it coming), that would be wrong.  The reality is that Google, despite my poorer showing, sends me much, much more traffic.  And, while that didn’t surprise me a ton, what did surprise me is just how big the difference is.

Take a look at the graph below:

Google Analytics Top Search Engine Referrers

Taken from Google Analytics, it shows traffic coming my way from the top 4 search engines – ONLY search engines – other sources are filtered out.  What surprised me was that Google sends me 20 times more traffic than Yahoo and an amazing 145 times more traffic than bing.  As a matter of fact – bing ranks up there with baidu – a Chinese search engine.

So, what’s the moral of this story?  I suppose it’s the ongoing story of the utter and complete dominance of Google in the Search Engine arena.   And, while I wish I ranked higher on Google, maybe being in the top 9 is “good enough”.  Maybe, just maybe being in the top 2 or 3 isn’t worth the work it takes.

Posted in SEO