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Search engine marketing research and statistics

As the use and importance of search engine marketing has developed as a business tool, there is now more research being done to help companies understand the trends in usage and the main sites being used - including which search engines are important.

As with many aspects of the web, much of the research comes from the US, but other research studies in Australia, the UK and other countries also bear out the main results being found. Here is a selection of some useful research studies:

User behaviour and search engines.

The following surveys have provided some valuable data on how web users search and interact with sites online - follow the links to the original surveys or summaries of the main findings:


The popularity of search engines.

A number of research organisations track the volume of traffic on the web, either specifically on search engines, or on the largest web sites (which tends to include the main portals and search engines). These regular surveys illustrate the volume of web traffic that the top search engines receive. The three main services are:

Internet monitoring company Hitwise has also become established over recent years are a good source of Internet traffic data, as well as providing information on usage patterns. In the UK, a series of regular reports have provided insights into the growth of the search engine market and behaviour trends with web users:


The growth of search engine marketing.

With Internet marketing becoming a more mainstream medium, umbrella organisations are now tracking the growth in spend and publish data which illustrates the rapid growth in this sector over the last few years.

The growth of Internet marketing spend in Australia is reported on a regular basis by the Audit Bureau of Verification Services (ABVS) who publish annual reports and quarterly updates on the trends in the online industry:

In the UK, the IAB (previously the Interactive Advertising Bureau) has been a representative body for the online marketing industry since 1997 and it publishes quarterly reports on marketing spend within the online sector:


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