Friday, December 16, 2011

What the #1 Google search in Canada says about how people use the web

I'm a big fan of using search data to gain marketing insights so when I saw the most popular Google searches for Canada in 2011 come out, I couldn't wait to see the news.  When I did, I was somewhat shocked. 

If you haven't seen them yet, here they are:

2. Skyrim
3. Canada Post Strike
4. Rebecca Black
5. Ryan Dunn
6. Japan Earthquake
7. Game of Thrones
8. Jack Layton
9. Royal Wedding
10. Google Plus

Other than the fact that Rebecca Black is so high (btw, she's #1 worldwide) I was really surprised to see a web address at #1.  While I wouldn't be surprised to see a web address in the top 5 because I see this often with some of the websites that I manage, I was taken aback to see a web address at #1. 

This highlights a few important points about web marketing and usage:

  1. Not everyone is as web-savvy as you are.  I NEVER type web addresses into Google but this tells that many other people do.  
  2. If you're monitoring your organic search volume you MUST remove any branded searches from your analysis.  If you don't do this, you'll think you are doing way better at organic search than you really are because your organic search results will include people who already know your web address and would have been direct traffic if they typed the address in the right place. 
  3. If your web address isn't a trademark, be careful that competitors aren't outbidding you for paid traffic that you could be getting.  However, even if it is, you should watch this anyways as Google may not catch it and prevent somebody else from bidding on your trademark. 
 Pretty interesting stuff isn't it?