Saturday, July 02, 2011

Sources Analytics: Google vs. Yahoo and Bing

Looking at my Google Analytics numbers for the first half of the year, I noticed something about traffic sources. This shows how much traffic came to my sites from various sources, and there is substantial difference between my sites in how much traffic comes from Google, Yahoo and Bing searches.

First, my law firm website:

Nearly 75% of the traffic comes from "organic" searches on Google. The next highest source is "cpc" (cost per click), my advertising on Google AdWords. Then Bing and Yahoo combine for just over 8% of site visits or about one-ninth of the traffic generated by organic Google searches.

Next, our traffic court website:

We don't use AdWords or other advertising to bring traffic to the site. Google is still dominant, with a 68% share. But Bing and Yahoo are much more prominent, with a combined 22% share, nearly triple their share on the law firm site.

I'm not sure how to explain the difference. One theory has to do with how the different search engines view these two sites. At first I thought maybe Bing and Yahoo were ranking my law firm site lower than Google ranks it. But I did some brief searches using my biggest keywords and they actually seem to rank my law firm site better than Google does.

Then it dawned on my to look at the other side of it. Bing and Yahoo rank my court website much better than Google does on searches for court names. So it's not that my law firm site does poorly on Bing and Yahoo, but that they treat my court site well.

Another theory is that SEO for law firms is far more competitive than for court directory websites. Many law firms are trying to get their websites to rank high on searches. On the other hand, search engines seem to give substantial credibility to government websites (i.e. official pages for the courts), which is the main competition for our court website. While the government doesn't actively compete in the SEO game, the search engines' favoritism is dramatic. Maybe the numbers suggest Google gives more weight to government websites than Yahoo and Bing do.

Just to add more information, my next biggest site is my Albany Lawyer blog:

Google has a 71% share and Bing/Yahoo are at about 12% together. And it's nice to see facebook sneaking in there.

And as a final and upbeat note, had 1.75 million visits in the first half of the year, up 60% from the first half of last year. The site is roughly 1/100 the size and profit of LinkedIn, which is supposedly worth $8 billion. That would mean our site is worth $80 million. Any buyers? We'd sell at a substantial discount.


Mathew Tully said...

How much of a discount?

Unknown said...

Make me an offer. Call me if you're serious.

P. J. Grath said...

Are you aware that Google searches are personalized to users? When you search, what comes up for you is based on your past searches, what you’ve looked at recently and sites you visit regularly. Someone else using the same search terms will get different results. Turning up in the top ten results on our own searches doesn’t mean we’ll be on everyone’s top ten, by a long shot. Recent piece in New York Review of Books covered this topic.

Unknown said...

Yes I am aware of that. And yet most of our traffic is new users.