The Emerging Search Economy

Thread Title:
The Emerging Search Economy
Thread Description:

eContent magazine has an article aimed at content providers and has some strange information.

Insiders at Google tell me that they are seeing important shifts in user behavior; many users now put URLs into the Google toolbar search box in order to get to a target site, which suggests that surfers are starting to use search engines as reliable modes of navigation, not just as data harvesting tools.

I have seen this sort of stuff for years, but have definitely not seen an increase in it in the last year or two for sure.

The emerging world of search also introduces wrinkles into an already tricky process of getting your content picked up and noticed by the major engines. Many of these tools now let users tweak and twiddle with the very algorithms by which results are ranked.

Here they mention the Snap thing where you can order the results by most popular.

Anyhoo, the article is worth a read.


forgot to add, and can't edit....

With regard to sticking the url in the search box, I never dreamed that surfers were using search engines as "reliable modes of navigation" - actually I just thought that the surfers were a bit, how should I put it, silly!

It simply indicates

It simply indicates that they don't know what the browser address bar is for, as any reliable review of most-used search terms would indicate. Example: some of the most searched-upon terms are "" and "" (and have been for the past seven years at least).

When collating statistics, it's ::cough:: important to know what the heck you're looking at; otherwise, your conclusions can come back to embarrass you.

Aren't these "users"...

...just SEOers, looking for their (and other sites') backlinks? Everybody knows by now that link: doesn't work for SEO.

I know several

otherwise intelligent people who, if I say to them "go to www .abc .com" will type in www .google .com and then type www .abc .com into the search box.

I think because their homepage used to be msn and they changed it to google they somehow believe that you can only start from a SE and move around by following links.

That was my point

Gurtie, that was my point. Almost none of the non-Web people I speak with knew what a "browser" might possibly be nor that you can type URLs into the address box; they use search engines in order to get a link upon which to click.

That the public might now be searching for an entire URL doesn't mean "that surfers are starting to use search engines as reliable modes of navigation" but simply that they don't know how to use the browser. Gotta love 'em, though: they're now searching for the whole URL!


I was helping my mum on the phone the other day and i asked her what browser she was using: "i dont know, what's a browser?" - says it all...

She's using firefox now :)

Yep, it's up to us

Someone's got to teach them what a browser is. Truthfully, for Windows right out of the box, the IE icon is a blue "e" ... and, although it says "Internet Explorer" underneath, it does NOT mention browsers. So, one by one, it's up to us to teach.

These are the same people who call to tell you that "my Internet is down" ... or that don't know that when they use a browser to access their email via the Web, they're not actually downloading it into their email programs; after all, they can see it right there on their computers. See? No distinguishing between programs and what's on their computers versus what's on the Web.

It's not that they're stupid; it's that it's just not entirely obvious and intuitive. We just happen to be among those who got it and pursued it enough to get it.

So, why...

...are all these non-web-savvy internet users now searching for urls? Is it because they read the paper or a magazine, watch tv, and see an ad that has a web address on it?

Either it's that, or there are lots more SEOers-2-be than we thought ;-)


So, why...

...are all these non-web-savvy internet users now searching for urls?

Wit, they are not now searching for anything that they haven't been searching for for years.

This is NOT new - in fact, it's as old as search engines - there is nothing going on here at all, not in any shape or form.

What's new is:

that someone is saying that by a user putting a URL in the search box the people are using a "search engines as reliable modes of navigation".

For me that is like saying you look at a Globe to get directions from Edinburgh to Glasgow.

I'll put my head down and wait for the incoming........

You mean...

...the "insiders at Google" are fibbing (see original post)? I'm shocked. Just when my father-in-law was telling me the other day that he wanted to stop using the SEs as data harvesting tools and move on to treating them as reliable modes of nav. Then again he's quite old-fashioned ;-)

LOL how very true.

I can imagine that people entering "" and hitting [I'm feeling lucky] are not always ending up at Chances are they'll get:

- somedomain's stats counter
- a Resource Zone post saying: why isn't in dmoz yet?

...instead. M$ should really make the IE browser address bar 60 pixels high, with a flashing border and arrows, blinking text saying "Enter your web address here, you Google addict!"

Interesting idea, Wit

All browser makers would have to do is to ensure that, when the browser or new window are first opened, some light grey text appears in the address box: "Type URL here" or "Type Web address"

It'd work. Not to mention they ought to refer to browsers as browsers -- but then again, that would alert the public to the fact that alternative browsers can be had.

Simple thing would be...

... to set focus to the address bar instead of the G search box (just tested that, to be sure). Then again, some people might hate that. How about a standard setting "Set focus to browser's address bar on startup", that can be easily unchecked by the REAL searchers.

I understand the numerous dilemmas.

Right, but ...

You're right, Wit, but the regular public would need to be told that they can type in the address bar. Otherwise, it's all for naught.

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