Search engines still dominate over social media, even for millennials

Search engines still dominate over social media, even for millennials

New research suggests when information gathering really matters, users turn to search engines.

For many years people have been proclaiming the demise of traditional search traffic and the death of the SEO industry that supports it. While Google has posted consistent revenue growth from its core search business for the last many years, the pundits are convinced that the proclivity of users to search on a search engine for new information is a relic of the past to be replaced by a rising always-on social media presence.

Every winter, the technology blogosphere is replete with thought pieces about how the coming new year will be the year of social or some innovation. While some may say that foretelling the growth of search in the coming year is akin to heralding the return of the palm pilot; I strongly beg to differ.

As someone who has spent the last decade deeply involved in constructing enterprise SEO strategies, I have felt that this couldn’t be further from the truth. It is my opinion that if an organization chooses to believe that no one will search for them online, they are leaving the field wide open for their competitor to dominate the organic search results.

What does the data say

However, a point of view, even one with industry experience to validate it, is still only an assumption. I partnered with my research colleagues at SurveyMonkey to gather hard data about the true state of search. We collected responses from nearly 4,000 people who had taken surveys on SurveyMonkey. (Read more about our methodology here.)

To understand where search stood as an information gathering tool, we asked questions that put users in specific scenarios. The motivation behind this line of questioning was to give a real-world scenario where a user might choose between search and other available options. As an example, we asked users to choose where they would most likely turn to find a new dentist. The motivation behind this line of questioning was to give a real-world scenario where a user might choose between search and other available options.

Not surprisingly for this kind of need, many people would choose to text or call a friend or family member for a suggestion; however, a higher number 36 percent would turn to a search engine. Only a very small minority of 5 percent would rely on social media. When this data was cut by age, millennials (18-34) were just as likely as the general population to use social media but were more likely to use search than those in the 35-64 bucket.

Social media may be a great option for gathering advice from a crowd, but when the suggestions really matter users still want control over how much and from where they gather information.

Original Article Here

Author: georged31093

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