most visited index pages, in order of popularity were:
INFORMATION - BUSINESSES - CLASSIFIEDS -
ACCOMMODATION - MAP - EDUCATION
extra statistical info:
The information below shows us the top 10 entry, and exit pages
As expected the index page ranks No. 1 and also, not surprisingly
includes some of our top sites and indexes. The exit pages are
an indication that the visitor has found what they are looking
for and exited via that page. We can see that 22.5% of visitors
arrive via the index page and 16.01% leave via that page ... an
indication that many visitors may have gone on to find what they
want! (You can visit these pages by clicking on the links
below). Also very encouraging to see that 77.5% of visitors
are going directly to the pages with the information they require
and bypassing the index page.
Search - The Great Equaliser
scroll down past the banner ads and enter your search
term. You pass the "sponsored results" without
a glance. You ignore the shaded results to the right,
as well as the additional "sponsored results"
at bottom. Hiding somewhere in the middle of it all,
you finally find the results you came for. Welcome to
the world of natural search - a world where small businesses
compete with million dollar companies, where million
dollar companies compete with billion dollar corporations.
And, while many will argue to the contrary, the playing
field is more or less level. Small companies can and
do dominate their multi-million dollar competitors online
for a variety of reasons.
Is Natural Search? For those who aren't
quite clear what the term means, "natural"
or "organic" search describes the "editorial"
search results on any particular engine. These results
are purported to be completely non-biased, meaning
that the engine will not accept any amount of money
to influence the rankings of any individual sites.
This is quite different from the paid advertising
that appears in "sponsored" or "featured"
results, in which higher positions are rewarded to
the companies willing to pay the most per visitor.
Is Natural Search Important? Savvy searchers
who understand the difference between paid and natural
results are more likely to hold the natural results
in a higher regard, much like a person reading a magazine
would probably be more positively influenced by an article
about a particular company or product than by a paid
advertisement from the company or about the product.
Average searchers are learning the differences between
paid and natural search results, and many will instinctively
favour the latter.
Advantages Do Huge Corporations Have?
Certainly, large companies do have some specific advantages
when it comes to natural search.
a. Links - the primary advantage that
large corporations have is their ability to obtain large
amounts of inbound links, which can have a huge impact
on search engine rankings. Often these links are given
freely without the company asking (or being aware that
it is happening). Many of the huge corporation's vendors,
affiliates, partners, etc. are eager to show their association
with the company and link to the corporate site readily
and non-reciprocally. Large corporations can also facilitate
huge increases in link popularity through a simple corporate
policy requiring inbound links from any companies wishing
to work with them. In addition, very large corporations
may have several websites, which can sometimes be effectively
linked together for additional link popularity.
Budget - although history shows that a large percentage
of major corporations do not spend wisely in this arena,
larger corporations typically have larger marketing
budgets then their smaller competitors. However, this
does not necessarily mean that they will readily allocate
a portion of that budget for search engine optimisation,
as discussed below.
Advantages Do Smaller Companies Have?
While the advantages of huge corporations, particularly
in the area of link popularity, can be difficult to
overcome, it is often unnecessary to try. A large percentage
of such companies consistently seem to “shoot
themselves in the foot” when it comes to natural
search engine optimisation, a primary reason why small
companies can often outperform them. Specific advantages
A willingness to pursue the channel - Smaller companies
are typically more willing to devote resources to natural
search than large corporations. Huge things have to
happen for a major corporation to get involved in this
"new" channel, a channel far removed from
the traditional marketing methodologies used to build
the giant. Few corporate employees want to be the one
to put their neck on the line and recommend something
completely new and "unproven". Even when a
large corporation looks into natural search engine optimisation
as a potential marketing tool, it can take many months,
and sometimes years, for a final decision to be made.
A willingness to change the company website - Huge corporations
face similar problems when it comes to changing to the
corporate website. Within such entities, a person can
often not get so much as a comma removed from the text
of a secondary page without holding several upper-level
management meetings and, ultimately, making a board
presentation. Smaller, leaner companies are able to
approve necessary website changes more quickly, and
are almost always more willing to quickly adapt to the
needs of both visitors and search engines.
The willingness to outsource - Larger companies have
more internal resources at their disposal, and are less
likely to outsource this specialised service to someone
with proven experience. Often, search engine optimisation
is treated as an afterthought and dumped on an IT person,
who typically has too much to do already and will approach
the problem solely from a technical standpoint as they
may not have specific SEO knowledge. Natural search
engine optimisation is by necessity a combination of
marketing and technology. Newcomers to the field (especially
those who treat the discipline as strictly a technical
issue) often make fundamental mistakes that at best
do not get results and at worst put sites at risk of
A lack of technical hurdles - Huge corporations are
more likely to have technical issues on their website
that can prevent search engines from indexing all of
their pages. Often the pages of corporate websites are
generated "on the fly" from large databases,
and such pages (without modification to the URLs) are
sometimes never indexed. In addition, (although usability
studies are making this happen less often), some huge
corporations have their sites built entirely in flash
or use other technologies that are virtually invisible
to search engines.
Bottom Line - To most huge corporations,
search engine optimisation is often a very small piece
of an enormous puzzle - and it is a piece they have
been doing without for years. The necessary steps
required to fully embrace the channel are often enough
to stop any well-intentioned initiative in its tracks.
As most search engine optimisation experts will tell
you, some of the most flagrant search engine mistakes
are consistently made by household name companies
- leaving their smaller, leaner competitors the opportunity
to take full advantage.
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