Archive for May, 2009

Elusive statistics on web search

blogosphereDepending on which statistics you trust the most, anywhere from 60% to 90% of all web sessions start with the use of a search engine. And we know that in most cases by far that search engine is Google. In the U.S.  Google’s share of the search market is 63.7%, according to comScore’s latest search engine rankings.

I did some grubbing about and found the following attempts to express in numbers the phenomenal success of search engines – as opposed to more traditional access points, like library web pages – for web navigation.

“89 percent of college student information searches begin with a search engine, compared to 84 percent of total respondents’ searches.”
De Rosa, C. College Students’ Perceptions of Libraries And Information Resources. Dublin, Ohio; OCLC, 2006.

“We know that 80% of all online sessions start at a search engine,” said Reprise Media Managing Partner Peter Hershberg. “Effectively funneling the traffic created by television advertising to a relevant landing page requires an integrated strategy built on search marketing savvy. The Super Bowl is the ultimate stress-test of a brand’s integrated marketing.”   Reprise Media Announces 5th Annual Super Bowl Search Marketing Scorecard

Nobody “surfs” the Web anymore. Some 80 percent of all online sessions now begin with a search. Google proves the point by making over a billion dollars every quarter on search ads. Nobody ever made than kind of money selling browsers.   Eight Tips for Super Searching

A collection of statistics from Mango Search Marketing

  • Search engines drive as much as 80% of a site’s traffic. (Source:
  • 95% of Internet users begin their web search at a major search engine. (Source: )
  • 69 million Americans go online each day which represents 54% of the Americans with Internet access. (Source:
  • 91% of all online sessions involve the use of at least one keyword search. (Source:
  • Over 84% of all first time site visitors were delivered to the site by a search engine. (Source:
  • Over 4 billion searches are conducted on a monthly basis on the “Big Three” (Google, Yahoo!, MSN). Over 95% of all searches are conducted on the first page of the search results.

Mango Search Marketing – Helpful Hints

According to the Thomson FindLaw research, eighty-four percent of consumers with a legal need who did research used the Internet, far more than those who relied on friends and family, libraries or local bar associations. How do consumers find the legal information they need online? Eighty-eight percent of them begin with a search engine — Google is the most popular.

It is reported that 65% of all websites visited start with a search from a search engine.
SEO Trends

Threading the web

Persian manuscript, ca. 1400-1500The word I have chosen as the title of this blog possesses an unusual etymology: Latin gossypium, cotton, and Swahili boma, an enclosure. The word gossypiboma denotes a mass of cotton (or any foreign body) that is retained in the body following surgery. There is an interesting literature on the medical outcomes of this rare example of surgical oversight.

Information literacy is the essential competency of our time, but one of the least recognized. What is it about human beings that most of us are quite willing to admit that we haven’t yet achieved physical perfection or absolute knowledge but blunder happily about the web with two fingers and a one-or-two-word Google search strategy? Health librarians like me work very hard to convince people that learning how to complain about their boss or their bunions on Facebook does not make them information literate. Often our interventions are met with the IDHTFT (I Don’t Have Time For This) brush-off or the IAOTI (It’s All On The Internet) dismissal.

Just because we know how to sew on a button doesn’t mean we’re ready to close in surgery. We might even have left behind a gossypiboma. When it comes to information, most of us are amateurs, and even proud to be acknowledged as such. Fortunately for the health care system, real gossypibomas are quite rare. But think of the consequences of real information illiteracy: the countless lost stitches of the googled web, the hopeless weaving in every digital direction, the impacted wads of fruitless investigation, the wasted time. This blog is dedicated to threading the web more intelligently, getting our work done efficiently with the right resources, and knowing how to close. Our motto: no twine left behind.


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