Wednesday, December 22, 2004

I Know Where I Want To Go, Can You Just Take Me There?

It's the difference between search and navigation. Search is looking for sites pertaining to books, navigation is knowing Amazon has books and wanting to go there.

The numbers clearly show users want to to navigate, not search.

What if there was a way that if a user typed in Ebay, they would be taken directly to EBay's site? Would this be valuable to Ebay? Would search engines like this?

From MediaPost's Daily News Hitwise: EBay Leads Search Terms.

New Hitwise data reveals that 86.7 percent of the top 500 unique search terms for the week ending Dec. 4 were related to corporate brands such as eBay and Wal-Mart.

That tells me there is a LOT of wasted money in search right now.

Nearly 11 percent of the top search terms related to generic products, such as sporting goods and furniture, followed by 2.5 percent for branded products like "Nintendo DS" and "PlayStation 2."

The top 10 corporate brand search terms during that week were "ebay," best buy," "walmart," "," "target," "sears," "," circuit city," "home depot," and "amazon," according to Hitwise.

"The leading search engines vary in their strength to refer traffic to certain categories versus others," said Bill Tancer, Hitwise vice president of research. "Marketers should carefully consider the nuances of each engine."

Marketers should also consider ways to direct their own traffic.

It's obvious the search concept is broken if the majority of searches are for specific brands and they cant be directed. So instead of letting me find a book in Harvard's library that may be looked at maybe 5 times this year, just get me to a site where I really want to go.

When you have mastered the high volume, easy brand name searches, then tackle the obscure ones.

A platform is coming that will allow this.

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