Sheep and Wolves

I’ve been busy with the new job and especially busy at Search Engine Strategies – NY so I’ll keep this entry brief. It’s hard to make time for blog when having two lunches (but only one 10oz soda). Thanks to Gord Hotchkiss, Steven Prisco, Greg Zola, Chris Heun, Brett Crosby, and others present for the excellent company over the course of the two meals.

Today, special thanks go to Greg Saks of Compete, Inc who provided the research for today’s column. At some point I might also post some outtakes from the cutting room floor; a previous version got even deeper into some of the data Greg sent over, but in such a stats-heavy piece, it became hard to read, especially without the charts to make sense of it all.

From the column:

Personalization serivces are often considered ways to engender customer loyalty. Yet, according to new research, subscribers to search engines’ personalization services can be the most fickle. So what do you do, go after the loyal sheep or the aggressive wolves? …

Compete developed a Share of Search Activity (SOSA) metric to determine search engine user loyalty. The firm takes a search engine and assesses the percentage of searches its users conduct across all engines. For instance, 71 percent of Googles users’ searches are conducted on Google, while the other 29 percent of Google users’ searches occur on other engines (as of December 2005). Compare that with Lycos, bringing up the rear, where less than 6 percent of its users’ searches are conducted on Lycos; 94.2 percent of searches by Lycos users occur on other engines.

Read the column for Greg’s interpretation for why personalization doesn’t always engender loyalty. This could have been a much, much shorter column since all I needed was an intro and Greg’s insight, but alas a 200-word piece just doesn’t offer much to advertise around. An aside: this is also my least favorite column headline in a long time – it’s just not that catchy – so please note the title’s all me, not the editors.