June 18, 2006

Users Search rather than Navigate

Writing about web page http://www.wmccm.co.uk

Jay McCarthy, VP of WebSideStory, first signalled a significant change in user behaviour last May at Search Engine Strategies 2005 Toronto announcing that Internet links and search referral have crossed over, no longer do people get to sites with links, but now they use search, its not a web anymore. This was confirmed by Neilson/NetRatings, 18th Jan 2006, from their November 2005 search results showing ebay, ebay.com, google, yahoo and yahoo.com in the top ten search terms for U.S. searchers. The reports claims that this indicates users now type into the search bar rather than use the address bar, bookmarks (Favorites folder) or directories. U.S. online searches grew 55% year on year to 5.1 billion searches in Dec 2005 according to Neilson/NetRatings, 9th Feb 2006. This was against an online population growth of only 3% showing a real change in user behaviour claims the same report.

Cahill of Hitwise confirmed the UK increase in searching was similar to the US pattern with March’s top 10 UK search terms being ebay, amazon, argos, bbc, easyjet, google earth, autotrader, ebay uk, cbbc, & bebo.

WMCCM, based at the University of Warwick here, has seen visitors grow 60% in the first quarter of 2006 with 87% of visitors referred by Google.


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