Posted by Erin Schroeder, Copywriter & Online Specialist

A leading site for estimating web traffic, Alexa reports that Google still commands the #1 position for “Top 500 Sites on the Web” globally and also remains the most popular in the search engine (SE) category.

Not a big surprise, is it? Here’s something you might not know, though: other SEs may be bringing in more engaged visitors.

A recent article MarketingProfs published on a study by Shareaholic showed that Google is driving a lot more traffic numbers-wise, but the visitors who come from some of the less popular SEs are often more connected.

How so? When looking at several SEs, organic search data from more than 300,000 sites and 400 million unique visitors was analyzed for a six-month period. It showed that searchers who land on sites through, Bing and Yahoo! average longer visit times, navigate to more pages and have a lower bounce rate (leaving a site after viewing just one page) than Google.

The report showed that visitors arriving via Google average just over two pages per visit. Plus, these visitors have a 61.26% bounce rate once they reach a site, meaning they are very likely to make a quick exit if they don’t find the information or answers needed right away.

While AOL comes in as the search engine with the least engaged audience post-click according to average time spent on site, total pages reviewed and bounce rate, Google has the second lowest overall percentage in the study.

So why are these findings so significant to us marketers?

As the clear leader in search engine usage for so long, Google has become the engine many tend to cater their online efforts to since it sends 17 times more traffic to sites than the other SEs mentioned – AOL,, Bing and Yahoo! – combined.

However, this research shows that it’s not just the quantity of visits we should be paying attention to as other SEs may be worth consideration when it comes to the quality.

In any case, this data certainly raises some thought-provoking questions when evaluating search engine strategy and tactics, such as why engagement levels seem to differ between search engines, and the like. It’s a topic that’s worthy of a deeper level of analysis than this single study provides.

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