RKG Study Identifies Q3 Organic Search, Social Trends
Google held a 77% share of organic search visits among Rimm-Kaufman Group search engine optimization (SEO) clients. Bing and Yahoo each held 10% market share. Nearly 21% of organic search visits occurred on mobile devices in Q3, up from 18% sequentially.
Despite Google making less query information available due to secure search, the digital marketing Q3 2012 report identifies that RKG SEO clients continue to see gains in the number of unique queries and landing pages generating traffic. Compared with earlier this year, weekly unique queries last quarter rose 43% and landing pages rose 44%.
The study points to changes Google made during the past 18 months that affect SEO professionals. For example, the report points to the loss of Google query data due to secure search as a concern. RKG has been working on techniques to make up for the lost data that now represents about a quarter of all organic Google traffic for its clients. It will only continue to get worse because of the Firefox browser defaulting to secure search, and the continual rise of Google+ signups.
Nearly one year after Google choose to block keyword referral information for secure organic searches, about a quarter of all queries fall into the (not provided) category on average, according to RKG. The percentage recently peaked in August and began leveling off.
The research also found that Bing, Google and Yahoo have shown improvement in average bounce rates, particularly for mobile devices. Google continues to exhibit between 5% and 7% higher bounce rates than its rivals.
The study also identifies a shift to longer search queries during the last six quarters, reflecting changing user behavior, but SEO as a means to bring a broader range of landing pages also seems to influence the numbers.
When it comes to social domains, Pinterest remains the "wild card." Pinterest referrals for many sites are nonexistent, while a few generate heavy traffic volume -- about one-quarter to one-third of all referrals. For Q3, Facebook delivered an average of just less than 6% of referral traffic, according to the RKG study.
RKG sees Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest providing a combined total of a little more than 0.7% of all site visits on average in Q3, which supports Forrester findings that suggest less than 1% of online transactions could tie to a social media post.
Facebook took 6% share of referral traffic, slightly down sequentially the past two quarters.
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