Efficient Frontier released a new survey about how much traffic major search engines get outside their own search engines. For instance the survey revealed that for Yahoo less than half the paid clicks happen on their proper site.
The difference between own search engine traffic and outside traffic can be explained by ‘Search Syndication”. A classic example of search syndication is the fact that Google provides for AOL’s search listings or that similarly Ask.com makes use of Google for their editorial listings.
Thus comparing paid click incomes between the own search engine and the partner pages, Yahoo proved to gain more income from partners than from itself. 1,916 partners made up for 55% of Yahoo’s paid click income. On the other hand the conversion rate on the Yahoo! Site was far above the conversion rate of the partners, 58% of converting clicks came from the own site.
Google has less partners than Yahoo, 463 to be precise, and the majority of their paid click traffic comes from their main site. 59 % by Google, the remaining 41% from partners. Google’s conversion rate is also outperforming Yahoo, with a 75% of conversions coming from Google’s site.
Obviously Google is less dependent from partners than Yahoo, but Yahoo’s partners convert better than Google’s partners, that’s the main conclusion. Although without precise conversion rates (not provided by Efficient) it is hard to make accurate statements both about Google and Yahoo.
As for Microsoft, they only have 5 partners and they are actual MSN sites so hardly to be called partners in the strict sense. 99% of clicks comes from Microsoft site itself, leading to a 100% conversion rate of the Microsoft search engine. Partners don’t seem to matter.