Search Engine Strategies Toronto 2007 – Day 1 Highlights

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The Search Engine Strategies Toronto conference was held in Toronto, Canada on June 12-13, 2007 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. As always, it was a tightly-run event that was jam-packed with valuable information.

Here are some of the highlights from sessions I attended on Day 1:

Session: The Canadian Search Landscape

  • Canadians conducted 12 billion search engine queries in 2006.
  • Canadians are now conducting an average of 1.4 billion search engine queries per month.
  • 80% of Canadian search queries are for Website content, 18% for images, and the balance are for video content, which is growing fast
  • Depending on whose numbers you want to believe, Google currently has approximately 75-80% of the Canadian search engine query share, with Yahoo! and Microsoft evenly split over the remaining 20-25%. Expect Microsoft’s share to increase as they continue to invest heavily in search.
  • MSN adCenter’s a ‘bargain’ deal for Canadian paid search advertisers because it is still relatively new and there’s less competition.
  • Only a small percentage of advertisers are taking advantage of the Quebec search engine advertising market; lots of great opportunities to get cheap traffic this way.
  • 50% of Canadian search queries are related to finding a product or service.
  • 78% of Canadians will turn to search engines to research a product or service.
  • Martin Byrne from Yahoo! Search Marketing made the interesting observation that companies who have top ranking organic search results convey a "perception of [brand] leadership."
  • Canadian searchers are knowledge seekers not bargain hunters.
  • Canadian searchers are engaged: they are very active, will look at more brands, explore more choices, and like to build and share their expertise.
  • 82% of Canadian businesses with Websites engage in online advertising, but only 36% of them use search engine advertising or search engine optimization.
  • When asked why they weren’t using search engine advertising, the number one reason Canadian businesses cited was "too expensive" … which, of course, is ridiculous.
  • Search engine advertising in Canada is now as large as the entire online advertising market was in 2004.
  • In general, Canada is a less competitive search engine advertising market, which means there is still a great opportunity for advertisers.

Session: Search User Behaviour

  • Searching from the Web browser’s toolbar has increased 57% in Canada over the last year.
  • Toolbar makes searchers more loyal to a specific search engine, and more engaged with that search engine; they conduct more searches.
  • When it comes to having an impact on an online purchase, running search engine advertising alone can have a 20% lift, running online display advertising alone can have a 20% lift, but combining the two can have an 83% lift!
  • Google image search is starting to get a significant amount of Canadian search traffic: 2% per month and growing.
  • On average, a typical Canadian Website can expect to generate about 80-85% of its search traffic from organic listings versus 15-20% from search engine advertising.
  • 1 in 4 searches are triggered by offline advertising. Television and print advertising aren’t dead yet!
  • Mainstream search engines (i.e., Google, Yahoo!, MSN) are the number one choice for B2B product or service research.
  • Of those B2B researchers who want to go directly to a potential vendor’s Website, 27% of them will still use a search engine to find that Website.

Stay tuned for highlights from Day 2…

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2 thoughts on “Search Engine Strategies Toronto 2007 – Day 1 Highlights

  1. Manco

    Very interesting statistics and very true. Especially this “When asked why they weren’t using search engine advertising, the number one reason Canadian businesses cited was “too expensive” … which, of course, is ridiculous”

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