WebPosition Finds Amazon Tops Search Engine Rankings Among Major Retailers
WebTrends released a WebPosition(R) Search Ranking study last week of how four major retailers that sell five of this year’s hottest holiday toys are using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) strategies to attract online visitors. Top-level findings, revealed at the Search Engine Strategies Conference & Expo, indicate that Amazon’s visibility in both organic results and sponsored search results were the highest, with an organic Visibility Percentage more than twice that of the other retailers.
Wal-Mart, Target, Sears and Amazon were analyzed using WebPosition(R) Gold to determine the visibility these web sites have in organic and paid search results on Google, MSN, Ask Jeeves, Teoma and Yahoo! Web Results for five toys included in USA Today’s ‘Hot Dozen’ toys: “Cabbage Patch Kids”, “Bratz Tokyo-A-Go-Go Dance N’ Skate Club”, “E-L-M-O”, “Balloon Lagoon” and “Ms. Pac-Man TV Games” (Source: Toy Wishes magazine, October 2004).
Results indicate that as a group the retailers are more than twice as visible in sponsored search results (73.87%) as they are in organic search results (35.87%). Amazon was found to be the most visible among all sites in organic search engine listings for the targeted keywords with an organic Visibility Percentage of 34.67%, followed by Wal-Mart at 14%, Target at 7.33% and Sears at 3.87%. Visibility Percentage is a reflection of a site’s positions within the first three pages of search results for its targeted keywords and search engines. For example, a site that has #1 organic search positions for all of its targeted keywords in all search engines examined would have an organic Visibility Percentage of 100%.
When WebPosition analysis included sponsored search listings, visibility increased across all retailers with Amazon rising to 52%, followed by Wal-Mart at 39.73%, Sears at 16% and Target at 13.6%. The data suggests that retailers are using sponsored search listings to achieve high positions for these products, often in the absence of high organic search positions.
“While this study is a snapshot of SEO and SEM performance for a handful of products, the finding of major retailers relying on paid search to augment their organic search listings holds true with what other studies have found,” said Jason Palmer, vice president of product management and product marketing, WebTrends. “Since competition for paid keywords will only increase, it’s critical for sites to utilize rankings and recommendations such as those provided by WebPosition to increase their organic visibility.”