WebSideStory has released data breaking down the conversion rates for the top four search engines: AOL, MSN, Yahoo! and Google.
For the month of January, AOL Search generated the best conversion rate at business-to consumer e-commerce sites (6.17 percent), followed by MSN (6.03 percent), Yahoo (4.07 percent) and Google (3.83 percent), according to the WebSideStory Index, a new statistical barometer that features techno-graphic and e-commerce trends culled from the millions of users that visit web sites using the company’s award-winning web analytics technology, HBX Analytics. The study includes traffic from both organic and paid keywords.
One of the explanations given for the difference is that “portal” sites like AOL, MSN and Yahoo tend to attract more active shoppers. “With portals rich in content and services, AOL, MSN and Yahoo may tend to appeal toward a more buyer friendly demographic. Google, meanwhile, may appeal to more browsers – those with less of an intent to buy,” aid Ali Behnam, senior digital marketing consultant for WebSideStory.
That being said, all four of the major search engines are still greatly outperforming the “other search engines” category, which generated a measly 1.97% conversion rate in January 2006, and just 2.3% during the 4th quarter of 2005, the busiest online shopping season.