Sunday, February 1, 2009

Search Engine Popularity vs. Social Media

As readers of this blog are aware, my view of using social media is not mainstream, or should I say it is unorthodox. I strongly believe that achieving higher ranks in search engine results will yield more positive returns in the long run, as opposed to getting to the front pages of social media sites. Although this opinion is based more on intuition rather than raw data, I do have some statistics albeit limited in depth and scope.

I paid a visit to an internet cafe whose owner is a friend of mine. After a full day's observation, here are my preliminary findings:
  1. From a total of 54 customers, none visited a social media site.
  2. 60% of those said "yes" when asked if they had made a query using a search engine that day.
  3. The most popular application was MSN's instant message service.
I will go on and speculate that,
  • a considerable percentage of social media users is made up of bloggers themselves and commercial site owners.
  • For any blogger who wants to target casual internet users, the major source of traffic is search engines.
These findings are subject to the constraint whether my sample truely represents the behavior of typical home broadband users or not. I made a few on-site experiments here and will publish them soon.

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