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Search Engine Strategies Toronto 2007 – Day 1 Highlights

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…


  1. Diana Tamblyn
    Diana Tamblyn June 19, 2007

    Great informative article. Thanks very much!

  2. Manco
    Manco June 22, 2007

    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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