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August 25 , 2009

30% of searches are unsuccessful, Hitwise study
Canadian searchers often have to start fresh

Only 70 per cent of Canadian searches are successful. Nearly one-third (30 per cent) of Canadian iInternet searches are not successful, forcing Canadians to re-search to find relevant results, according to the Hitwise Canada Search Report released today.

An average of 70 per cent of searches in Canada were deemed “successful” in the 12 weeks ending June 27, 2009 (average of all search engines). A successful search is defined as one where the consumer leaves the search engine after performing a search. This means that 30 per cent of searchers were forced to conduct a fresh search — no doubt partially motivated by searches that failed to return a useful result.

“Search engines have an obvious opportunity to improve relevancy of Canadian search results,” said Heather Dougherty, director of research for Hitwise. “Marketers also can use paid search engine listings to ensure that the relevant Web site is at the top of the search engine results page.”

Hitwise analysis of success rates for various search terms indicates that the problem may originate from international results, particularly U.S. results, appearing in the search engine information. Searches for brand terms are particularly prone to a have a higher success rate with the word “ Canada” included in the search, especially for US companies that include Canada in promotional efforts.

For example, for the search term “wedding dresses” the success rate is 84 per cent, while searches for “wedding dresses Canada” enjoy a success rate of 100 percent.

Searches for brand terms are more likely to have a higher success rate with the word “ Canada” included in the search:

  • The success rate for searches for “walmart” was 88.83 percent, while for “walmart Canada” it was 92.54 percent
  • The success rate for searches for “home depot” was 84.25 percent, while for “home depot Canada” it was 92.33 percent
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