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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Upstream and Downstream Clicks: It's All About the Google (and a little bit about Yahoo)

A lot of ink gets spilled about everything digital media. And some wonder why those of us in the search side of the industry are, well, a little bit... noisy.

You can see why by visiting Alexa (or if you have a subscription, a service like Hitwise). For your favorite site, check out the tab called "Clickstream". The website that is most visited prior to visiting your favorite site is, of course, Google.

It might look like:

23% Google.com
10% Google.ca

Or it might look like:

15% Google.com
8% Some other site.

Or in some other cases Yahoo actually is still key (though not necessarily Yahoo Search):

12% Google
11% Yahoo

And the "post visit" clicks are also (although, hopefully, less so) to these search engines as well. Users either go back to the search engine right away due to search dissatisfaction, or they use a search engine for something else, after they're finished with one task.

Other common upstream and downstream sites are site closely related to your favorite site, like

icanhazcheezburger.com
pga.com
etc.

Or functionally related ones like:

sphinn.com
wordpress.com
youtube.com

Or, increasingly,

twitter.com

as people tweet what they find.

For some popular sites like cuteoverload.com, Twitter is hitting 2 and 3 per cent of post-visit visits. For this blog, Traffick.com, Twitter clocks in at an amazing 10% of downstream visits!

Still though, Google is at the top of pretty much every list of upstream and downstream clicks for pretty much any website.

Bing.com? The bad news is, the site is too new and too little-used to show up in many upstream lists at all. The good news? Downstream, it shows up in the list for blogs like this, and tech industry publications. Microsoft will need much more than mentions from the likes of us, though, to gain market share.

Posted by Andrew Goodman




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