Google Refers Most Search Traffic

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Google has the highest referral rates -- the percentage of search traffic it sends to other sites on the Web -- compared with competitors Yahoo and MSN, according to a study released yesterday.


Digital marketing firm WebSideStory, San Diego, said Google's referral percentage hit an all-time high of 52.23 percent in early June, compared with Google's rate of 44.87 percent in June 2004.


Yahoo's referral rate was 25.21 percent in June, falling from 27.33 percent last June. MSN also declined from 15.8 percent last June to 10.37 percent this June.


"Google has become a staple for any serious online marketing operation, and this data shows why: They generate more than half of all online search referrals in the U.S., and as much as 90 percent in other countries," said Jeff Lunsford, CEO of WebSideStory.


Google refers more than 91 percent of all traffic in Germany, WebSideStory said, as well as 41.86 percent of traffic in Japan, 73.61 percent in the United Kingdom and 80.76 percent in Australia.


However, WebSideStory does not advocate that businesses use Google as their sole online customer acquisition source.


"In comparison to offline acquisition sources, we are still seeing powerful ROI from campaigns run through Yahoo and other pay-per-click networks, banner networks, affiliate networks, shopping engines and e-mail service providers," Lunsford said.


Christine Blank covers online marketing and advertising, including e-mail marketing and paid search, for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters


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