Data: Consumers grow more demanding, impatient as brands fall behind

There’s considerable evidence that consumers are growing more impatient and less tolerant of poor or frustrating online experiences. There’s also increasing evidence that most brands aren’t keeping up with customers, creating significant risk and lost opportunities.
This gap is reflected in all the CX (consumer experience) research and reports coming out. There’s also a strong undercurrent of this theme in the Google “micro-moments” research and discussions. All the data about mobile page speeds and consumer abandonment support this idea:
The average U.S. retail mobile site loaded in 6.9 seconds in July 2016, but, according to the most recent data, 40% of consumers will leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load. And 79% of shoppers who are dissatisfied with site performance say they’re less likely to purchase from the same site again.
Most recently, Google said that geo-modifiers (e.g., ZIP codes) have declined by 30 percent, even as local search volumes have increased:
[D]emanding mobile users now assume

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Report: Customer satisfaction with search drops, in social Google+ beats Facebook

Earlier this week the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) released its “e-business” report. The category includes search, social media and news and information sites. Social media held steady, while the search and online news sectors declined vs. last year.
In the aggregate “search engines” dropped in customer satisfaction by 1.3 points. Microsoft properties (MSN, Bing) suffered the largest declines vs. 2016 of 4 and 3 points respectively. Google was off two points compared to last year.

The best score Google has received, since measurement began in 2002, is 86 (out of 100). The first year ACSI measured Google satisfaction it received a score of 80.
Social media as a category was stable; however there was movement among the individual players. Surprisingly, Google+ captured the highest satisfaction level of the group, with 81 points. The report attributes this to its redesign and the addition of new features.
Pinterest gained two points to capture the second highest score (78). Twitter, however, was the

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Data: Google monthly search volume dwarfs rivals because of mobile advantage

In the past year, comScore has de-emphasized its search market share and mobile market share reports. Part of the reason is that the numbers don’t change that much anymore.
In addition, for reasons that remain mysterious, the measurement firm has declined to present a consolidated view of the search marketplace that includes both desktop and mobile. Mobile search is now both larger and, in many respects, more important than desktop search.
Below are the most recent comScore PC search market share and query volume figures for December 2016:

Across the board, desktop search queries are down vs. November. Google’s overall share remains basically stable at 63 percent (plus). Microsoft continues its slow growth on the PC, while the others continue their slow declines. It’s worth noting again that Bing powers search results for AOL, Yahoo, Siri + Spotlight search and Amazon, which is not reflected above.
On mobile devices it’s mostly a story about Google, however. According to data from StatCounter,

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Billions served: PC search is down but query volume is way up for Google

Writing about search market share on the desktop is now a bit like writing about old cars. It’s sort of interesting but less and less relevant. For reasons that remain mysterious, comScore has neglected to provide a unified view of the search marketplace — despite the fact that likely between 55 and 60 percent of search queries now come from mobile devices.
July desktop search rankings in the US reflect the following distribution, according to comScore:

For comparison, the following are the comScore numbers from July 2015:

Google Sites — 64.0%
Microsoft Sites — 20.4%
Yahoo Sites — 12.7%
Ask Network — 1.8%
AOL — 1.2%

Essentially all parties have lost incremental share except for Bing, which has gained 1.5 points. Depending on your perspective, this could be spun as trivial or part of Bing’s long slow climb to meaningful desktop search market share.
PC query volumes peaked on the desktop in 2013. However, in mobile, Google commands roughly 94 percent of the market according to

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Survey: Local search marketing top channel for SMBs, but many not tracking ROI

A recent survey found local search is the most popular form of online marketing for US small businesses (SMBs). In this context, “local search” includes SEO and PPC. Non-local SEO and PPC are also broken out separately.

Source: RevLocal, July 2016 (n=602 US SMBs)
The survey was conducted by digital agency RevLocal in July among roughly 600 SMBs. Interestingly, most of these respondents expressed a belief that their digital marketing efforts were effective (62 percent) or very effective (13 percent). Yet paradoxically, a substantial minority (44 percent) said they weren’t doing any ROI tracking.

Source: RevLocal, July 2016 (n=602 US SMBs)

An earlier Thrive Analytics survey found that 74 percent of SMBs in the US did not use any tools to monitor or measure the performance of their online marketing. Nearly 60 percent in that survey were simply asking customers, “How did you hear about us?”

Source: RevLocal, July 2016 (n=602 US SMBs)
Despite the findings above, numerous surveys have shown that SMBs working with

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Contradicting other data, Compete says search traffic growing on the desktop

Millward Brown’s Compete unit issued its 2016 State of Search report. Based on clickstream data, it appears to contradict earlier comScore data, which show a decline in overall desktop query volumes. By contrast, Compete says “traffic to search engines [is] up 12 percent since last year.”
According to the Compete report, search visits per per person are up “almost 50 percent since last year.” Users are more frequently visiting search engines, according to the firm.
In addition, Compete says that total time with search engines has grown by 24 percent since last year, “amounting to more than 111 billion minutes spent on search engines a month.” However, users are visiting fewer pages per session: the report says that pages per visit have declined eight percent since 2015.
Consistent with that latter finding, users collectively are spending less time per visit, which is off 17 percent since 2015. The inference here is that people want and expect answers quickly and are

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Google developing keyboard for iPhone in hopes of boosting search volumes [report]

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According to a report yesterday in The Verge, Google is about to release its own third-party keyboard for the iPhone. The report says that the keyboard will employ swiping/gesture-based typing and predictive text.
Google’s objective is apparently to increase the number of searches coming from iOS devices, the iPhone in particular. With the release of iOS 8, Apple allowed third-party apps to replace its own keyboard.
While there are numerous options today, the two most popular replacement keyboards for the iPhone are Swype and Swiftkey. Swype was acquired by Nuance in 2011, and Swiftkey was just bought this year by Microsoft. Apple doesn’t provide app-install numbers, but Swiftkey, for example, has more than 50 million installs on Android.
This analysis, cited by The Verge, argues that most smartphone users do less than one mobile search per day. However, there are tiers of users, some of whom do a lot of mobile searching, and others who do less. In

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Survey: Under 40 Percent Start A “Local Search” With A Search Engine

What we widely call “local search” is only partly about search engines. Finding local content and making offline purchase decisions is a multifaceted process that involves several categories of information and devices. That’s according a new survey and report from IDC and YP.
The report is called “Local Search Unleashing Opportunities for National Advertisers” and based on a survey of 750 US adults (between 18 to 44). Roughly 80 percent said they own smartphones, matching overall US smartphone penetration of just under 80 percent according to comScore.
Where Users Start Local Searches

Source: IDC (2016)
The survey looked at how people go about finding local information on the desktop and mobile devices. It focused on discovery of information tied predominantly to national brands but in an offline/local context across a range of categories:

Financial services and insurance
Casual dining
Business services

The research found that “general search engines” were largest single starting point for local search users. However, as the graphic above illustrates, that was

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Report: Top Domains In Google With Winners & Losers For 2015

Dr. Peter Meyers from Moz has published their top winning and losing domains in the Google search results for the 2015 year.
Moz tracks about 10,000 keywords on a daily basis and as of December 1, 2015, here are the top ten domains that get the most exposure across those 10,000 keywords:

Yes, Wikipedia still dominates by far, even with reports that Wikipedia has taken a dive in the Google search results this year.
But the truth is, Wikipedia did take a loss. According to Moz data, they are the second most impacted top domain of 2015 in terms of search visibility loss, right under Twitter. Yes, Wikipedia still is the number one ranked, but their number one ranking in 2014 was much more lucrative for them than towards the end of 2015.
Here is the top losers including Twitter, Wikipedia, eBay, Pinterest, Yelp and others:

How about the top winners?
Well, Amazon climbed to #2 overall with a 0.18% gain, esty

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Search Market Share In October 2015 Looks A Lot Like It Did In October 2008

October desktop search data from comScore came out late Friday afternoon. Google appears to have “stabilized” at roughly 64 percent market share, while Bing and Yahoo are also mostly unchanged from September.

Search market share was in nearly the same place in October 2008. Google controlled roughly 64 percent of search query volume and the number two site had 20 percent. Of course that number two player was Yahoo at the time. Today it’s Bing/Microsoft. In addition, AOL and Ask had a larger share of search seven years ago, which has largely be transferred “up market.”
But back in 2008 mobile search was negligible.

The most interesting thing about this month’s data is the increase in query volume. There was 2 percent growth in desktop search volume vs. September. As a practical matter that represented roughly 340 million more monthly search queries. From a paid-search perspective that means millions of dollars in the aggregate — perhaps as much as $100

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