Do Searchers Still Start with Google?
In reading a report/analysis on the ecommerce market I read with interest the following statement:
Bazaar Times: Online Specialty Retailers Thrive. Deep selection, wide
variety, product information, interactive education and shopping
tools, as well as third party product reviews and recommendations will
continue to drive retail sales to online specialty retailers, in our
opinion. Companies such as Art.com, Blue Nile, eBags, Hayneedle, U.S.
Auto Parts, and Zappos are positioned well to thrive in this long-tail
Each of these sites has created a way for the engines to navigate the key content on the site even if the visitors navigate through the internal search. Some of these sites have extensive user generated content that is indexed and highly visible in 'real-time' and 'show options' search results. Each site is HUGE in terms of number of pages and all that are mentioned in the full report are old domains with good reputations.
My question is: do people still go to Google first to find the a good place to buy shoes or are they navigating directly to the long-tail sites? Are the e-commerce brand sites well enough known for people to go directly to them looking for a bargain or are the search engines still the originator of traffic? I believe that pure search drives most of the traffic into these sites. Pure search could result in any of the optimized elements of these sites being clicked on but the traffic still originates from search. Opinions?