Relationships Matter: Where You Share Affects How You Search

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Although social media sites have been around for less than a decade, they have played an active role in shaping the future and culture of the Internet, and probably will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Search engine marketers have been long studying the web-browsing habits of various demographics — including their choice of browser and search engine. They have seen how these choices impact a user’s likelihood to interact with an ad or of their lifestyle preferences, but how do these choices influence which sites a user visits on the Internet?

When studying this effect, Chitika Insights investigated the relationship between a user’s search engine preference and their social media outlet of choice. Interestingly enough, the seven major social media sites saw large differences in their favorite search engine. Newer, more tech friendly outlets, such as Reddit, Stumbleupon, and Google+ have an overwhelming preference for Google — with 95%, 94% and 85% searching respectively with Google. Conversely, older social media platforms with more established user bases like Myspace search a larger percentage of the time using other engines, like Bing and Yahoo.

Maybe, it’s a question of technical aptitude. When Myspace was first founded, its initial user base was probably extremely tech-forward, similar to the group participating in Google+’s recent beta test period. However, as new options came along, these users adapted and moved on to follow the novel tech trends. Those still using an older option like Myspace likely joined the site later or came in with the masses and were left behind. Their search engine choices probably followed suit, perhaps explaining why users of arguably passe social media products have different search engine preferences.

Whatever the reason for these differences, as a marketer on a social media website, understanding user preferences like search engine choice can improve the targeting and effectiveness of an advertising campaign. Moreover, as social media begins to play a larger role in SEO, future success for social networks will depend on their ability to adapt to these constantly changing trends.

How do you share online? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Gabe Donnini
Gabe Donnini is a Data Solutions Engineer at Chitika and a lead author for reports by Chitika Insights, the research arm the online ad service. After graduating with a B.A. in Business Administration from Ithaca College, Gabe has been pursuing his passion for technology by researching and analyzing new and emerging trends in the online world. His reports have been featured in a range of international media outlets including; CNN, PC World, MSNBC,The Wall Street Journal, International Business Times and Huffington Post, among others.Follow Gabe on twitter @gdonnini
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  • Great stuff – thanks for sharing! Just looking at how my own behavior online have changed the past years, sure underlines the points of this article and I am sure that there is plenty more usable insights in this field that is highly relevant in order to understand the consumers online and how to target a certain online audience, from analyzing basic insights like these.