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Sunday, February 17, 2008

When thinking about Search Engine Optimization, I'm often asked where people should focus their efforts. My response is often, "Who are you trying to target?" If you want to attract a younger audience, focus on Yahoo! For an older audience - who happens to spend real money, focus your optimization efforts on Google. Research firm Hitwise has put together an analysis that looks at the demographics that Yahoo Search attracts compared to the audience that Google draws for search by age group.

According to Heather Hopkins of HitWise, Yahoo Search attracts a younger audience than Google. In the 18-24 year old category Yahoo received 19.33 percent of visits compared to the same demographic for Google, which received 17.91 percent. In the 25-34 year old category Yahoo again captured a higher percentage of visitors with 23.13 percent compare to Google, which grabbed 20.37 percent.

When looking at the 45-54 year old group the results are the opposite. Google receives 20.07 percent of visitors in the 45-54 year old group while Yahoo in the same age group pulls in 17.97 percent of visits. The same thing is true in the 55 and over age group. Google draws 18.72 percent of visitors while Yahoo receives 17.23 percent.

When it comes to spending online Hopkins concludes, "The groups over-indexed on relative to the online population - are those that are among the most likely to have spent more than $500 online. This indicates that Google users are more likely to be big online spenders."

Keep the facts in mind before you focus your SEO efforts on a particular search engine. By targeting your audience appropriately, you'll increase results dramatically.


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