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Tech Talk Radio Show 48 of 2009
Transmission date: November 30, 2009

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Ep 48: TiVo and T-box hit the streets in the beginning of Content Wars, Google Analytics is now Illegal in Germany, Apple now dominant in mobile broadband, Telstra kills 200Mb Fraudband.

November 30 , 2009

The internet has been with us for many years now and wouldn’t you think that everyone would know how to use a search engine by now? Well strange as it may seem, as Google cracks the decade, there are still people about, some even in the Tech Talk office that still don’t understand how search engines work. To this day, I’m still lost as to why some people insist on typing a URL into the Google search box instead of the address bar at the top of the browse.  All that aside, Hitwise is a company which monitors what people do online. They don’t know who you are, they just know what you do, and in their recent report on the searching and browsing habits of Australian internet users, there are some interesting changes in the way Australians find things online. The question on the tip of everyone’s tongues… Are social media sites replacing search engines?

According to Hitwise, in 2009, Australian have spent more and more time on social media websites and the category has grown by 25% compared to 2008. Search engines are still the most visited sites with 12.8% of all site visited, followed by social media with 11.8%, Portal & front page with 5.1% and email services with 5.1%

The use of search engines is still growing up about 8.6%, but social media are planned to take over especially during the Christmas season. Australia is one of the nation that use search engines most followed by the US and the UK.

As for market share, Google is still dominating the search landscape with over 87.1 % of market share. Bing has grown to 4.7% from 4.1% compared to 2008, while Yahoo remains stable with around 2.3% but how has our search behavior evolved in recent times? The most significant change is the rise of brand related searches. 14.22% of searches are brand related. Compared to 2006 (8.75%), branded searches have increased by 62.5 %.

Most of the top 20 searches in Google are brand names or brand related phrases. The most popular brands are social media, followed by online based brands (ebay, seek, hotmail). Only few traditional brands are making it to the top 20. Search engine users have also refined their way of searching. Long tail keywords are getting more and more popular.

- 1 word searches: 18.6% have decreased by 5.3% compared to 2008
- 2 words searches: 28.6% have also decreased compared to 2008
- 3 words searches: 24.2% have increased
- 4 words searches: 14.3 % have increased too
- 5 words searches: 14.3 % have increased by 2.2 % compared to 2008

Interestingly Bing is still heavily relying on 1 to 2 words search terms rather than Google tends to generate longer phrases.

One of the most amazing facts is the contribution of paid search against the traffic to all websites in Australia. According to Hitwise's data, paid search contributed to only 4.8% of website traffic. Such figure strongly re-enforce the need to focus on SEO, which should generate most of your traffic.

 This week on TTR

  • Adam looks under the hood of the new and improved TiVo
  • Google Analytics declared illegal in Germany
  • Telstra asks for volunteers to clean exchanges and
  • Sydney Apple software developer receives Apple legal threats and a rare personal email from Apple CEO Steve Jobs.