SEO, search engine optimization, is a moving target. To understand SEO, you need to recognize that while its definition remains stable over time, its parameters are ever changing. Some evolve while others change entire, and others yet appear or disappear as their importance changes over time.
Most major companies have in-house, or external SEO experts who steer them through the constant changes as they occur to maintain their search ranking. Know that SEO experts work full time on their craft, sparing little time for other digital marketing specialties.
Medium-sized and smaller companies don’t necessarily have the means to remain on the edge at all times. It is thus important for you to know a little about SEO factors to recognize experts from charlatans. You might even be able to manage some of the necessary changes yourself!
This article was inspired partly by “72 Stats To Understand SEO in 2018” on SEOTribunal.com.
Here are 72 statistics to better illustrate the importance of SEO, and its various important factors.
Google is the most used search engine in North America with a 73% share of searches on a desktop and 93% on mobile. Bing comes in second. These shares change slightly by country throughout most of the world. They change more dramatically in Asia and in Russia.
- Bing holds an 8% share of desktop searches and 1% of mobile
- In China, Baidu holds a 13% share of desktop searches and 5% of mobile
- Yahoo, Yandex (Russia) and other search engines each hold smaller and smaller shares globally.
Google’s search results appear due to various parts of its algorithms. Panda and Penguin are the better-known components:
- Panda’s function is to lower the ranking of lower quality sites, regardless of their traffic.
- It thus seeks to identify link farms, fraudulent links, and low-quality content.
- When it came out it affected 12% of searches.
- Penguin’s goal is to identify and penalize sites that abuse of Google’s guidelines.
- When it was launched in 2012, it impacted search results by up to 3%.
Search is important for many reasons. It has replaced the Yellow Pages directories as well as many visits to the public library. It accounts for 39% of global ecommerce traffic.
70-80% of users (depending on the country) ignore paid ads and focus on organic results.
Today, search engines focus heavily on mobile. That is your website’s user experience and speed on mobile. It is believed mobile will dominate searches in a few years, rendering desktop searches practically insignificant in volume.
Top ranking mobile listings have a few things in common:
- Speed: they load in 1900ms or faster
- Content: longer and highly informative content
- Lower bounce rate: 8.7% lower than average for any category
- Security: an SSL certificate is deployed
- Interaction: users click on more elements on the website
Mobile searches lead to vocal searches, which are expected to represent 50% of the total by 2020.
46% of all searches are local, which makes total sense. Local searches lead to 18% of purchases within a day, compared to 7% for non-local searches.
Check out the infographic below for all 72 statistics to better understand SEO.