Thank you to everyone who participated in the small ppc search engine clinic last Wednesday.
Following this clinic I received several questions regarding the ways that these search engines are driving their traffic. Specifically, how the small search engines are using domain traffic and why the quality of this traffic would be poor.
First, let me elaborate on what domain traffic is, domain traffic is using a domain to drive traffic. This traffic can come from domains that once had sites but no longer do, misspelled domains receiving accidental traffic or generic domains receiving direct navigation traffic (this refers to finding a site through the use of your browser bar rather than a search engine).
So, if the small search engines do indeed drive less qualified traffic and some of the small search engines are using domain traffic, is domain traffic less qualified?
Certainly not ALL domain traffic is less qualified. Direct navigation, where people looking for cellphones type cellphones.com into their address bar and end up on a page filled with cellphone advertisements, can be extremely qualified and people are now making very large investments for these types of domains. Rather it is the other methods which domains are driving traffic that concerns us.
This can be difficult to visualize so let’s take an example I found with a quick search MySSpace.com (SS). If you visit this misspelled domain you will notice that one of the first links on this page is to something called “friend search”, and if you click this link a page is displayed filled top to bottom with advertisements to personal/dating sites and people finders. Undoubtedly, some of these advertisements are clicked by individuals looking for MySpace.com.
Now, if this visitor looking for MySpace.com finds them self on a dating site rather than MySpace.com, they may stay and subscribe, though the likelihood of them being interested is far less than if they arrived at the site intentionally.
This is an example of how domain traffic can be less qualified. Seeing as how the traffic from the small search engines was of such low quality, we can only assume this is the type of domain traffic these engines are utilizing.