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Subject: RE: UKNM: Search Engines
From: Chris Meachin
Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2000 20:43:25 +0100


I think this thread is in danger of gross over simplification of the issues
involved (as discussions on this topic always seem to be).

It's probably a given that being well placed in search engine results will
generate more traffic than banner advertising (provided that both get
similar overall exposure): Search engine traffic is intrinsically more
targeted because, in simple terms, users are looking for something specific,
rather than being 'ambushed' while browsing.

Many people are more inclined to trust search engine listings, believing
them to be 'neutral'. It has also been well documented that experienced web
users mentally block out banner shaped areas at the top of the screen. And
more users are becoming more experienced.

But that isn't even half the story: To discuss the relative merits of banner
advertising against search engine placement purely in terms of traffic is

It's conversions you want (sales/money/registration/whatever).$$$

For many of the same reasons listed above, conversion rates are also far
higher with search engine traffic.

D.Dias wrote:
"...let's say you sell posters for around 4 quid, and the average order
comprises two posters, giving you a total of 8 pounds per average order.
You then buy 100,000 banner impressions at a CPM rate of say 25 pounds.
Which costs you 2500 pounds. You get a click thru rate of [optimistically]
1%. Of these 1% [1000 people], 2.5% actually make a purchase [25 orders]."

"If you were selling PCs at 1000 pound per system then based on the
conversion rates above, then of course it would make sense."

Erm, that's assuming that conversion rates would be the same. I'd bet money
that they wouldn't even be close. Choosing to compare the purchase habits of
PC buyers next to poster buyers seems a little odd anyway: A car sales
campaign based on experience of selling chewing gum is destined to fail.
Very quickly.

And anybody who thinks that there is a single rule, resource or tactic in
existence which will guarantee decent search engine results placement is
sadly deluding themselves. Search Engine Watch is a valuable resource, and
much of the advice banded about here is valid. But not on it's own. Not

Depending on what your business is and how saturated the market is, getting
listed requires intricate (almost obsessive) knowledge and understanding of
search engine ranking algorithms. No search engine will publish this
information (for obvious reasons) and anybody who does have an inkling isn't
gonna post their 5 years worth of research on a public list like this.
You're best bet is to get a pro in.

kpolley wrote:
"Many web design companies are now advocating their placement in the middle
or lower down a page."

That's priceless. I'll remember that one next time we fail to get a client
at the top of the listings! A touching display of naivety.

1. Banner advertising (though not necessarily *all* placement advertising)
sucks and will go the way of the dodo.
2. Search engines are not simple. Anybody who tells you they are is a liar.


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  Re: UKNM: Search Engines, Ray Taylor

  Re: UKNM: Search Engines, D.Dias

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