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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 911 - December 15, 2004 - ISSN 1539-5065    3 of 4

Search Engines Drive Traffic to Shopping Sites

By Ina Steiner
EcommerceBytes.com
December 15, 2004




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While visits to shopping sites are claiming a record share of total holiday season Web visits, search engines are continuing to contribute high levels of shopping referrals.

According to Hitwise, an online competitive intelligence service, the market share of all U.S. visits to Shopping and Classifieds sites reached their highest weekly levels during the week ending Dec. 11, 2004, reaching 9.73 percent. The week's level broke the prior record set Thanksgiving week 2004 at 9.72 percent. Specifically, Google contributed 4.26 percent of visits to shopping sites last week, while Yahoo! Search contributed 2.24 percent and MSN Search 0.54 percent.

"The holiday shopping frenzy is continuing strong on the Web, with search engines becoming ever more integrated," said Bill Tancer, vice president of research, Hitwise. "While Google dominates overall referrals, it is important to note that the leading search engines vary in their strength to refer traffic to certain categories versus others. Marketers should carefully consider the nuances of each engine in order to maximize their search strategies."

The top three downstream retail categories for the three major search engines were Rewards & Directories (compiled largely of comparison shopping sites), Auctions and Department Stores (week ending Dec. 4, 2004). However, these search engines are stronger in sending their users to varying retail segments:

· Google sends a higher share of its downstream traffic to Books, Sports and Fitness, and Music.

· Yahoo! Search is stronger in sending its shopping referrals to: Video and Games, Automotive and Classifieds.

· MSN Search sends a higher share of its shopping referrals to Apparel & Accessories, House & Garden and Appliances & Electronics.

http://www.hitwise.com

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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