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Your Top Search Rankings at Yahoo & MSN Search are Worthless

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Lounge' started by temi, Apr 10, 2005.

  1. temi

    temi Facilitator Webmaster

    By Mike Banks Valentine (c) March 8, 2005

    It seems I now do this rant every single year when traffic
    statistics are discussed in web industry news. Last week I
    posted to my Reality SEO blog that referred traffic numbers are
    the only statistic that webmasters should be concerned about
    when looking at their search engine rank. I wrote about this
    last year after ComScore Media Metrics statistics were released
    discussing Search Engine Queries generated by each search


    In that article, I suggested to Microsoft as they developed
    their own search technology that MSN search might consider
    resisting the urge to keep searchers on their site by plastering
    both PPC and "Sponsored Sites" above and below search results.
    Google displays two "Sponsored Links" above organic results and
    none below, along with Adwords ads along the right column.

    Well now that MSN search has made its official debut, we can see
    that they put three "Sponsored Sites" links both above AND below
    their organic search results, along with those Overture (Soon to
    be Yahoo Branded) PPC ads along the right side of the page. Not
    bad visually, but it appears to be keeping visitors on the MSN
    search site because they simply are NOT clicking through to
    highly ranked sites according to closely watched traffic
    statistics of several sites I monitor for clients.

    I've been pouring over web stats for a half dozen clients
    looking for traffic from MSN and it is missing in action. Even
    though these sites rank well for targeted terms for my clients -
    MSN is not delivering the traffic at all.

    This has always been an issue for SEO's and their clients and we
    are puzzling this one over, looking for results from those top
    rankings at both Yahoo and MSN as they seem to retain the
    searchers no matter how well we rank the sites!

    Yahoo has dropped dramatically, with referred traffic that used
    to amount to over 5% of the visitors to client sites, it has
    dropped as low as 1.5% of total referred traffic from search
    engines. After a recent increase in referred traffic from Yahoo
    search, we were hopeful it would stay high, but it wasn't to be.
    Rankings have not declined - Read That Again - Rankings have not
    declined, just the referred traffic!

    Google has gone up in referrals from foreign countries,
    including foreign language sites. We used to see tiny amounts of
    traffic trickle in from non-English language countries, but
    Google country sites for Netherlands, Germany, Italy, France,
    Spain, Mexico and a dozen other language specific Googles have
    combined to send more non-English referred traffic than the
    total coming from (English) Yahoo Search!

    The search world is getting very odd when great rankings at
    Yahoo and MSN don't equal referred traffic. This has always
    been the case to a degree, but is getting extreme and very
    disturbing. Google has always sent more traffic, with as much
    as 85% of referred search traffic coming from English Speaking
    Google variants in US, Canada, India, New Zealand, Australia,
    and UK sending more traffic than both the US Yahoo and MSN.

    What is the value of top rankings in MSN and Yahoo if those top
    positions don't bring traffic?

    Zippo, NONE are coming from MSN Search even though we are better
    ranked in several important search phrases for client sites at
    MSN than at Google! This is serious and it's a problem that we
    must resolve. "Searches performed" statistics, like those
    exhaustively researched by Bill Platt in a recent article
    are absolutely meaningless if searchers don't click through to
    top ranking sites! What does this mean?

    Even though I write a similar article each year, discuss this
    topic on large discussion lists and mention it regularly in my
    Reality SEO blog, I have yet to get honest answers from search
    engine representatives at Yahoo or MSN. I did get a couple of
    Yahoo Search managers to admit that more visitors stay on the
    Yahoo site and continue to either PPC ads or to other Yahoo
    links because "There is more of value to the searcher at Yahoo."
    What is of more value to a searcher than relevant search

    I gave those Yahoo's access to my traffic statistics and those
    of clients so they could see that nearly 70% of my traffic and
    that of clients was coming from Google - EVEN WHEN THOSE SAME
    explanations as to why, when they generate huge numbers of
    search queries, that far fewer visitors click through from Yahoo
    search results than do from Google search results.

    One must assume that someone searching for something visits at
    least a few of the sites that appear in the list of search
    results, no? They sure do visit from Google in significant
    numbers - consistently. But both Yahoo and MSN Search are
    failing to send referred search traffic to sites ranked highly
    in their search results. Why?

    I highly recommend that all webmasters with access to statistics
    for their own site look seriously at your traffic referred by
    Yahoo & MSN for search phrases you rank well on. Do YOU have
    traffic referred by Yahoo or MSN Search for your high ranking
    search phrases. Why not?

    Mike Banks Valentine operates http://WebSite101.com and performs
    ethical search engine optimization
    http://www.seoptimism.com/SEO_Contact.htm and press release
    optimization & distribution online. If you've got news you can
    rank at the top for your search phrases.
  2. Paul_KY

    Paul_KY New Member Webmaster

    Sounds like sour grapes to me. If he truly had, "Ethics" he'd recommend his <cough>, "clients" take the PPC route, as that's where the REAL traffic comes from (Yahoo/MSN). And even after that, I LOVE top 10, "gravy" listings in Yahoo/MSN.

  3. mcfox

    mcfox Guest

    Mike Banks Valentine is a respected writer in his field but I don't agree with him on this amy more than I agreed with him when he said a site should only link to 'similar sites'. That advice was taken as a 'rule' by seo's and trumpeted all over the internet. Trying to find reciprocal links after that got a lot more difficult.

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