Paid Search

Serendipitous Searching?

By DOM Team| 4 Min Read | July 23, 2007

I’ve simply got to come right out and say it – I’m no fan of country music.

In fact, I hate it. I don’t hate people who listen to it, I just don’t personally care to listen to it. (Does that afford me enough wriggle room?)

Nor am I saying that the music I listen to is in any way better. I can assure the vast majority of people would find the sort of stuff I listen to the equivalent of having their ears syringed with hot cheese. It’s an acquired taste to put it mildly.

Although I’ve had Jamboree in the Hills mentioned once or twice, I wasn’t fully prepared for its full exposure on Thursday’s TV. That redneck run, or whatever it’s called, left me slack-jawed with amazement. I’ve never seen such fat chaps run so fast.

Now back where I’m from we have a Blues Festival every year that is touted as being the biggest in the UK. The town is shut off for a long weekend and nobody can physically drive through the place. And, by the end of the weekend, nobody can physically do anything.

While I find Blues easier on the old ear drum, I’m still no aficionado. I only ever go to the festival to enjoy the people in an imbibed state. I honestly couldn’t tell you the difference between T-Bone Jester and Chicken-Legs Smith, but it can be a giggle.

But, there was an event this weekend that eclipsed both in magnitude and size of hill – Justin’s welcome back to Wheeling shindig – it was awfully nice to be invited. I’m becoming quite used to being that rather curious English fella over here. In fact, it’s a role I’ve nearly perfected over the past six years. However, the thing that never ceases to amaze me is that I always find myself chatting to that most dubious of closeted statistic – the true American 1-in-10.

Yes, the American soccer fan.

I’m beginning to understand a how comfortable a certain area is with the whole soccerball phenomenon by the sense of utter relief that is displayed on an American soccer fan’s face when they find someone they can talk legitimately to about the beautiful game.

If the guy I was talking to was anything to go by, then he’d been in a forced state of denial for some time. Living a secret life of eBay-bought Arsenal jerseys and Barcelona tops. Nobody is on the fence about soccer over here. It’s hardcore love or hate.

As an example of connected networking goes, it’s quite powerful. I remember every single American soccer fan I’ve met quite vividly as we were both equally as happy in the respective serendipity of the meetings.

And this is where the internet is becoming extremely powerful. You no longer have to rely on serendipity. Your search can return exactly what you’re looking for. And the same goes for people searching for your business.

The only difference is that the general pool of direct matches is infinitely larger. The chances of finding an American soccer fan at a little soirĂ© in Wheeling might be slim, but there is more chance if you ask in Wheeling, then more if you ask across West Virginia, then more across the country ……you get my drift.

The thing is, you can only fit so many results of those searches for ‘American soccer fans’ onto a particular page. And so it goes for any search term. All terms are competitive to a greater or lesser degree. But here is a little search breakdown:

  • 93% of all internet traffic is generated from internet search engines
  • 99% of internet searchers do not search beyond the top 30 results
  • Top 10 positions receive 78% more traffic than those in positions 11-30
  • 65% of online revenue is generated from websites in the top three positions on search engine results pages (SERPs)
  • 93% of global consumers use search engines to find websites

Source: Forrester Research, 2006 [via]

As you can see, the sites that manage prime position garner most attention. While you may think you’re relatively fortunate that a search engine throws a page that’s quite similar to what you’re looking for, that doesn’t always have to be the case. Any business can take ‘luck’ out of the equation by addressing how well they are found in the search engines.

Whether you use search engine optimization (SEO) for your organic search placements, paid search advertising (pay per click), or a mixture of the two, it is possible to attract targeted visitors to your Web presence.

Targeted visitors that are looking exactly for what services or products you offer.

It is no fortunate accident.

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