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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : February 07, 2007

Big box retailers need to focus more on search engine optimization

Big box retailers aren’t optimizing their sites for search and rely too much on brands, says a recent report.

by Helen Leggatt

Internet-Engine analyzed over 2,000 search results in their Search Share Analysis, and found that surfers were six times more likely to be presented with links to independent or internet-only retailers than to major branded bricks and mortar sites. Independent e-retailers made up almost a third (32 percent) of the websites found in the search results, and both manufacturing and shopping comparison sites accounted for 21 percent each.

“The data show that the big box stores are not participating in search marketing programs such as those created by Google or Yahoo,” said Internet-Engine’s founder and chief executive officer, Thom Disch. “Smaller, eCommerce-savvy companies, comparison shopping websites and product manufacturers are generating a much greater search presence.”

Ten search categories were used and included such items as iPods, plasma TV’s, snow blowers and watches. The analysis took in to consideration all levels of search, from top level category type searches, i.e. watches, through to brand/model and functionality specifications, i.e. waterproof, Seiko.

Bricks and mortar sites were consistently left out of search results or appeared low down in the rankings, across all the categories analyzed. This is usually due to being too reliant on their branding and not paying enough attention to search engine optimization. “Big box retailers cannot ignore search marketing forever,” said Debra Zahay, Acxiom Corporation Professor of Interactive Marketing at Northern Illinois University. “They need to make use of micro-sites and landing pages so the consumer looking for a watch, a snow blower or a camera can get a customized shopping experience.”

Tags: Google, site optimization, small business, Yahoo

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  • I think this study says is that google and yahoo are not doing enough to take into account web sites that ARE branded. Who should change here, the 1,000s of brands, or the two search engines?

  • There's probably a little truth to the results, but I do have questions seeing that Internet engine is this, according to the press release:

    Internet-Engine is a Libertyville, Ill.-based Internet marketing company that provides web development, search engine marketing, "pay-per-click" management, eCommerce and optimization services to a diverse clientele.

    It looks like selective results to try to use statistics to drum up business.



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