Posted February 15, 2010 11:23 am by with 9 comments

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Previous blind-test studies have shown that results across different search engines are pretty much considered equal–once you remove the logo from such results.

Now, a new study from Wunderman, BrandAsset® Consulting, ZAAZ and Compete goes one step further and demonstrates how the search engine used, influences the perception of the destination brand. In other words, Walmart’s brand is perceived differently, depending on whether the visitor arrived at its site via Google, Bing or Yahoo.

The study summarizes two distinct reasons why this happens:

Bing users, for example, tend to be mostly from the tip of the adoption curve (innovators and early adopters) where Yahoo! and Google’s passengers tend to be middle majority [and] each search engine demonstrated different degrees of consumer engagement ranging from visiting to finally purchasing.

Interestingly, if you use Bing, you are an early adopter. Who knew that using a Microsoft product made you one of the cool kids!

The study shares a few examples of how the search engine used, affects the type of interaction with the brand.

So, while Walmart tends to benefit the most from Bing users:

Hotwire, gets better conversions from Google:

So, how does this data help you? Well Shane Atchison of ZAAZ suggests “This research demonstrates that marketers have a real choice to make when formulating search strategies.” Oh if it were only that easy! First, you have to work to get the actual rankings and you also have to consider the search volume of each search engine. Place all your SEO efforts in Bing and you could starve to death!

Still, for those that handle the PPC accounts for big-name brands, it’s worth taking a look at the study to see if you can spot any opportunities for your campaign.

  • I am still trying to get the notion of being a bing user making someone cool.

    When I first started reading the report I was afraid that there was going to be some measurement of IQ for users of the various engines. Now THAT would be interesting (and a bit sick but what the heck).
    .-= Frank Reed´s last blog ..Social Media Requires A Learner’s Mind =-.

    • I don’t think that it would make you a cool kid.

      Hahaha. It would have been interesting if the report say something about the measurement of IQ why users prefer particular search engines.
      .-= Don McAlpine´s last blog ..Quick! Get Yourself the Indie Love Bundle =-.

  • Yeah, this could be a case where being an early adopter doesn’t automatically make you a cool kid. 😉

  • Andy, were you this skeptical back when all the early adapters were jumping onto the Google bandwagon?

    Early adapters don’t always establish a trend. Sony learned that with Betamax.

    But I think Shane Atchison is right. Marketers SHOULD be looking outside of Google’s search results (whose query-to-referral ratio seems to be lower than the other search engines’ QTR ratios). This is a good time for companies to brand the queries they want people to use to find their content.

    It will be a long time before Google loses its lead position in the race of inflated page counts, but that day will eventually come. The ROI in mapping multiple search engine strategies has always been good.
    .-= Michael Martinez´s last blog ..Going Nova: How Websites Become Networks =-.

  • and the point of the articles is that… ?
    .-= de ce?´s last blog ..O melodie de dragoste =-.

  • Steven Lockey

    I think the IQ curve would be:

    Very High: Didn’t both trying Bing cos it was always going to be crap
    High: Tried bing for a week then went back to Google
    Mid: Too lazy to try bing or tried bing and uses both now but mainly Google
    low: Loved bing….. Mainly cos they love reading about all thoose great offers!!! (see spam/phishing 😉 )

    Meh yes I’m an evil bastard 😉

  • awesome info, thank you.

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