Is search traffic slowly moving to social?
Two years ago I posed the question of whether the age of search might be – slowly – coming to a close. This was in response to US stats showing all search had declined 16% year on year with Google showing a 17% drop.
Though the figures evened themselves out, it could be that I asked the questions two years two early based on the latest figures from Hitwise.
According to Paid Content these show that UK searches in August were down 40 million year on year. Hitwise itself admitted that in addition to the Olympics skewing web stats, “the growing significance of social networks to websites” was a factor.
It should be noted that this is 40 million out of a total search volume of 2.21 billion, so obviously there’s no reason for brands to scrap their search marketing budgets yet.
However, the evidence is also clear that a strategy that has search and social working together improves search results.
As far as three years back, Comscore found a 50% CTR increase when consumers were exposed to paid search and social media in tandem.
Meanwhile a study this year by Search Metrics found that five of the top six factors relating to a high Google rank were social media related.