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Paid Search Traffic Down Sharply

Big brands just may have figured out that one way to cut back is to stop buying as many search ads considering their sites are already likely to show up high in search results. Hitwise reports that the share of search traffic to websites generated from paid listings has dropped to about 7.25 percent over the last four weeks, down from 9.8 percent during the same period a year ago. The market research firm notes that paid clicks from searches for brand name terms — such as Home Depot and Orbitz — saw especially sharp drops. Hitwise attributes the fall to “cutbacks in marketing spend due to the recession.” But Marketing Pilgrim’s Andy Beal adds that it’s also possible that “Orbitz et al (are) figuring out that they really don

4 Responses to “Paid Search Traffic Down Sharply”

  1. So, paid search traffic is declining as a percentage of overall traffic – that's interesting, for sure. Why? That's a biger question.

    Trying to pin down the single reason for the dip is going to be difficult, if not impossible. That it could be attributed to a single action by advertisers (i.e. less PPC spend) alone is pretty unlikely. It's more likely the result of many factors, including reduced PPC spend, reduced click through rate (CTR) for paid search results on the part of the consumer, and a number of other factors. The number of paid search advertisers also continues to increase, which means the marketplace is getting flooded with merchants, and if search traffic isn't increasing at the same rate, then that traffic is being spread thinner. All of these factors could contribute to a reduction in the percentage of paid search traffic to a site. It's great when you can point to something as simple as reduced ad spend as the reason for something like this, but I doubt the explanation for this report is that simple.

    Also, regarding the idea that companies that achieve #1 organic rankings for a search term don't also want to also have the #1 paid search spot to me doesn't hold much water. Some companies may take that route, but many others would like to "own" the whole first page of results if they could – and in fact, that's what many are working toward:
    http://r3r.com/blog/2009/04/14/1-isnt-good-enough-why-you-need-to-own-the-top-10-spots-on-google/

  2. as per my knowledge if you have notice trusted website get high rank. wikipidia is top website in most searches. bata.com,ibm,microsoft etc. are trusted site that why get high traffic

  3. As someone who's seen the paid keywords in action, it's not a suprise that they may be getting less and less money. For someone who isn't Home Depot, and doesn't have that recognition, a good 3-month campaign on these search engines give you the kind of traffic you desire, usually.

    I don't think they have any worry, the search engines that is, that they'll be eventually trying to make ends meet because they're not making money on paid ads/placements. The best part about America, for instance, is there will ALWAYS be more companies, message boards, forums and more to want to use this feature, especially at the rate they are popping up everywhere.

  4. Funny, both Home Depot and Orbitz both are still running paid ads in position #1 for their brand terms. Paid clicks may be down, but to suggest that major brands are abandoning purchasing their brand keywords is a very questionable reason – those keywords make them a ton of money, and there are many more shades of grey to the 'you have the organic listing anyway' theory.