If you thought search was dead and that social was taking over, think again. Search has grown a massive 68% since 2008 with Google and Bing experiencing good annual growth. However, Yahoo!, Ask and AOL probably think the opposite as their share of the search market gradually diminishes. We expected as much from Yahoo! as Bing takes over, and Ask and AOL are continuing a downward trend that started many years ago.
Search is definitely not dead, and for most businesses, is still one of their major sources of traffic. At times I think the search v social argument is misguided. The bottom line is simple – people are very comfortable using both. So much so, I wonder if a more advanced Facebook search engine would have much of an impact. Facebook users generally use that search facility to find data within Facebook, not so much as a general internet search engine. The phrase ‘Google it’ is still uppermost in most people’s minds, and that’s born out by these statistics.
With search still a primary tool for users, search engine optimization has to be the primary tool for small business owners when looking to promote their online presence. For new businesses, search engine optimization has to be a major component of their initial marketing efforts. It can take months before a website has any significant presence in search, so the earlier you start, the earlier you’ll appear in search results.
That doesn’t take away the social media marketing that should be undertaken at the same time. That will help to deliver traffic now whilst waiting for your search engine optimization efforts to kick in. With search being an important tool for most users, paid search remains an important tool for traffic for new businesses as well. In reality, there’s a lot of life in search marketing, both organic and paid – I wouldn’t be throwing search engine optimization out the door just yet.