Danny Sullivan: Yahoo/MSN Search Overtaken by Social Media

16 comments

Danny Sullivan has put onto paper what many of us had been thinking already. These days, when you diversify your traffic sources, you tend to think Google first, and Digg/Stumbleupon/Delicious etc. second... with Yahoo, MSN and Ask coming in on the pathetic third tier.

I've never encouraged a "Google First" or "Google Only" mentality for search marketers to follow. This is where you focus only on Google, figuring the other major search engines don't matter. Instead, I've said that all the search engines are important traffic channels to pursue. Don't forget the search engines beyond Google! But over the past few weeks, I've found myself more and more thinking that if you want to go beyond Google as a search marketer, the other search engines that matter first are the "social media search engines." After them come the other major general purpose search engines like Yahoo, Microsoft and Ask.

If anyone doubts it, check your referrers. Has Digg/Delicious/Stumbleupon sent you more traffic lately than Yahoo/MSN/Ask? I thought so...

If not, you're missing a huge opportunity!

Comments

That depends

That depends on your target market. I market generally to those 40+, family and business related. And those folks don't tend to frequent Digg or other social networks. And the folks that do tend to frequent those social networking places don't want the product I'm flogging.

Like wheel says

it depends on your target market. Most of my market has never heard of any social media besides myspace, and they dont know its called social media.

Not so fast

Not sure I agree with that.

In many cases, I can't get a single 'target market' visitor from digg (that is to say, one who would convert).

However, using some silly tangential hook ("Geek's Guide to Online Dating") you can get a ton of trusted links out of the 'worthless traffic'.

Then your trusted links get you more uber-targetted traffic via better organic rankings. Yeah, it's indirect, but it's also pretty damn powerful.

Yes. Social media traffic

Yes. Social media traffic sucks.

Nothing to see here. Please move along now. Maybe look into PPC.

It's nice to see

It's nice to see that some people aren't swept away by all the social media hype.

Sometimes - for some applications - the old ways still work best but that advice gets drowned out by all those who think that tidal waves of traffic always equates to money in your pocket.

Getting Past the Old School Mentality

Sure you know what Digg is mostly YMT's but you know what there are other folks there too. Want to see a massive influx of other people get stumbleupon stuff going your way. While Netscape is politically dominated, humor, entertainment, current events, or other general interest topics can do really well there. Got some more intellectual content go to newsvine. Delicious works for anything interesting just like reddit. Sure some of you say but my site is boring, my customers don't visit those sites, it will never work for my products. OK let's try something you all can understand like real estate

Want to get on Digg:
How to install the ultimate home network in your new house

Want to get on Netscape:
What Communities have the Best Recycling programs across the US

Want to get on Stumbleupon:
47 easy ways increase the sale price of your house for under $1000

Want to get on Newsvine:
An In depth look at School Taxes and College Entrance rates Across Vermont

Want to get on Delicious:
How to Save $700 on your Energy Bills with 12 Easy Home Repairs

Want to get on Reddit:
An Arial view of Celebrity Houses in Orange County California

Want to get on YouTube:
Create a series of 5 minute videos on easy in home repairs like fixing a faucet

Want to get in Flickr:
Hold a living room makeover picture contest

Want to get in Lifehacker:
The ultimate guide to network your house using MythTV

Want to get in Yahoo Answers:
Heck there are about a billion questions you could answer and in a non-spammy way and drop your link occasionally

Want to get on LinkedIn:
Go Answer some questions, hardly anyone else is

Want to Get on Threadwatch:
Create a flash game where giants drop houses on cuttlets, throw in the occasional matt look-a-like for bonus points

Anybody read "who moved my Cheese?"

> tidal waves of traffic always equates to money in your pocket

Not claiming that at all...

jolt of traffic to a baity page = jolt of editorial links = trustrank / trust = organic rankings

Certainly not the only tool in the belt, but I wouldn't launch a site these days without it.

hmm

jolt of traffic to a baity page = jolt of editorial links to a baity page equates to trusted links to a page that few people trust...

Might just be wishful thinking on my part, but I like to think that substance wins out. All this talk about 'bait' just equals 'deception' in my mind. Maybe it's from the 'bait and switch' term, but with all the guides out there about how to 'game' Digg, youtube etc, it seems like it's more about deception and traffic at all costs rather than traffic that converts.

No one has mentioned ROI or opportunity cost.

>>Want to get on Reddit:
An Arial view of Celebrity Houses in Orange County California

So? Bunch of gawkers want to see celebrity homes, and you plan to sell them a house? Mkay.

long term

>So? Bunch of gawkers want to see celebrity homes, and you plan to sell them a house? Mkay.

Nope I want to get links from all the celebrity gossip blogs and get my URL flowing through all of those toolbars. If you approach social media from a "what can I sell today" perspective you'll fail miserably.

So

You guys make it sound like you've got stories on the front page of Digg, Slashdot, Netscape, etc every day. So how many items really make the cut? What's the opportunity cost? How much deception is involved? How many bogus account need to be created? What's the good ole boy network favor cost?

I can put clients on the front page of THE major search engine every day, day in and day out, for years. That seems to attract links too. C'mon, convince the sceptics, it's easy to convince the ones that want to believe.

Show me how it fits in with one of my tenets: If it's so easy anyone can do it, everyone will be doing it, and if everyone is doing it, it's no longer as effective as it once was.

> C'mon, convince the sceptics

> C'mon, convince the sceptics

Why would I do that? I'd rather do all the exploiting for myself, while the exploitin's good!

> Show me how it fits in with one of my tenets: If it's so easy anyone can do it, everyone will be doing it, and if everyone is doing it, it's no longer as effective as it once was.

Easy? Hell no. Just very lucrative.

> You guys make it sound like you've got stories on the front page of Digg, Slashdot, Netscape, etc every day.

I believe Adam Smith calls this "the invisble hand" ;-)

I agree with Scoreboard

Social media sucks. Stick with jeeves.

Danny Sullivan is right

I had a dedicated server crash because of digg... and about 24 hours later stumbleupon did the same thing to the site.

Sites like that could literally send more traffic in a day than MSN could in 6 months.

You know, this sounds a lot

You know, this sounds a lot like TGP traffic to me.
traffic = yep, shite loads
quality = window shopper at best
profitable = almost never (unless this is actually your market. i.e. you get paid for hits, you generate the same kind of content)

just like TGP, everyone will have to try it because you just can't believe it will convert that badly.
The advocates will either be a vendor or they are in the same market so the traffic actually works for them. Trying to switch the viewers into product buyers... pass.

I see social media as a tool

I see social media as a tool for link building. At least it is good for something.

Ok Fine

Less competition for me, I hear jeeves is rockin now though

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