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Importance of Search Engine Positioning

It has become fashionable for some Internet marketers to claim that search engine positioning is dead, that search engines really don't drive traffic to your web site, and that you really need not spend any time or money on search engine positioning. Are they right? Well, let's look at some hard facts:

According to a survey by the Georgia Institute of Technology, more than 86% of all people find out about other sites through the search engines.

A January 1999 survey conducted by Forrester Research asked web users what they rated as the most effective way of getting them to a web site in the first place. 57% replied search engine positioning, 38% replied email, 35% replied external links, and 28% replied word of mouth.

And, as you may already know, merely submitting your site to the search engines is not enough. Unless your site appears in the top 30 of the major search engines, there is hardly any point in submitting your site at all.

That is the reason another study by ActivMedia Research shows that 66% of online marketers find that search engine positioning drives traffic. A top ranking in the search engines can bring you highly targeted traffic. If someone visits your site after searching for a product or service that you are selling, it means that he/she is interested in what you are selling and hence is a potential customer for you. Hence, search engines send pre-qualified customers to you.

Also, consider what the April 2000 issue of Target Marketing Magazine had to say about search engine placement:

Top Ways Websites are Discovered

Banner ads 1%
Targeted email 1.2%
TV spots 1.4%
"By accident" 2.1%
Magazine ads 4.4%
Word-of-mouth 20%
Random Surfing 20%
Search Engines 46%

Hence, unless your web site is at the top of the search engines, you are losing thousands of potential customers, which can translate into hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost profits. The search engines are by far the most important source of traffic for your web site. Don't ignore them.

Article by Sumantra Roy. Sumantra is one of the most respected and recognized search engine positioning specialists on the Internet. For more articles on search engine placement, subscribe to his 1st Search Ranking Newsletter by sending a blank email to or by going to

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