Google attracts the bigger spenders?

Google not only has the largest market share among search engines, but it also tends to attract older, more affluent users who spend more. Marketers follow this trend.

As much as most high-quality SEOers (those who practice search engine optimization "honorably") like to think of their pursuit as pure and intellectual, the fact of the matter is that search engine optimization is a form of marketing, no matter how you approach it.

Perhaps short of nonprofit organizations and the occasional Internet artist, people interested in getting their Web pages in top search results are interested in making money from the traffic that will come from those search engine links.

A recent Hitwise article revealed some interesting demographic numbers that the company has measured through its sources. In comparing American Google and Yahoo search users, Hitwise found that Google has a higher percentage of users in older age brackets than Yahoo.

This negates some of existing beliefs in the market about the composition of those two user groups; a commonly held belief has been that Yahoo was for the aged, Google for the youth. Maybe not:

  • In the category of users 55 and older, Google has 1.5 percent more of the market share.
  • In the category of 45- to 54-year-old users, Google has 2 percent more of the market share.
  • In the category of 35- to 44-year-old users, the market share was more or less equal.
  • In the category of 25- to 34-year-old users, Yahoo has almost 3 percent more of the market share.
  • In the category of 18-to 24-year-old users, Yahoo has 1.5 percent more of the market share.

It makes for a very nice, even curve! One implication that can be drawn from this is that, since older Americans tend to have more money than their younger counterparts, and Google users in general also tend to be more affluent, targeting the Google search engine over other engines makes much more marketing sense. Of course, this is in addition to the fact that Google's market share in the search world hovers somewhere around 60 percent, while Yahoo's hovers around 20 percent.

Google's search dominance isn't any sort of secret, but if these demographic numbers are accurate, the point is further magnified. Other search engines shouldn't be ignored by those investing in search optimization, but it's no wonder that SEOers are so quick to focus on Google; it offers the best bang for the SEO buck.
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About the author

    Jeff Muendel is a Search Analyst for Netconcepts, a search engine marketing firm in Madison, Wisconsin. He began his technical writing and SEO career with the IBM Corporation in Poughkeepsie, NY, and then rode the dot-com boom through startup companies in California, Texas, and Wisconsin. He specializes in SEO related to social networking, video, Flash, and other Web 2.0 parameters. Jeff can be reached at jmuendel@netconcepts.com. Disclosure.

     

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