Nijmegen, 5 April 2006 – Search Engine Mediabureau Checkit (http://www.checkit.nl) has in cooperation with Tilburg University conducted research on the online findability for search engines of the 100 largest advertisers in the Netherlands: 68% of the websites cannot be easily found by search engines. The complete Findability Top 100 can be found on the Checkit website: http://www.checkit.nl/study_top100_online_findability.html
The top 10 of the best scoring Dutch websites:
- Wehkamp (92,2%)
- De Telegraaf (81,4%)
- RTL (76%)
- Orange (75,2%)
- Jamba (75,2%)
- De Volkskrant (74,8%)
- Ministerie van Verkeer en Waterstaat (74%)
- Ministerie van Defensie (73,5%)
- Etos (71,5%)
- Albert Heijn (71,5%)
The media, telecom and retail branch dominate the top 10 but also the government does well with two entries. No less than 68 of the 100 companies achieved a findability score of less than 50%. On the basis of these results can be concluded that a large part of the sites tested in this study are insufficiently designed (optimized) for search engines. Developing and applying an effective Search Engine Marketing strategy for a company could generate more qualitative visitors for these websites and as a result also increase sales.
Media budget has no effect on findability
The amount of media budget proves not to affect the findability of websites for search engines. It is not automatically the case that companies which have a large media budget are better findable by search engines than companies which have a smaller media budget.
The branch in which an organization is operating tends to be a better predictor of the findability. Branches that are directly commercially dependable on the internet often have higher scores than ‘offline’ branches. It is remarkable to see that the branches ‘Travel’ and ‘Retail’, which achieve large online sales, have disappointing results in the Findability Top 100.
In this study we have examined the following criteria: sitemap, title, meta tag description, meta tag keywords, frames, headers, amount of content, Flash, number of indexed pages, Page Rank and link popularity. The criteria applied in the study have been selected from hundreds of variables which can influence the findability of a website by search engines. This study gives a reliable indication of the findability by search engines.
The websites of the 100 largest advertisers (source: Nielsen Media Research) have been analyzed using 11 of the most important findability criteria. For every organization and every branch we have examined four pages of every website, including the homepage, which were selected on important user motives. These pages have been analyzed on their findability for search engines. The results of the individual organizations based on the 11 findability criteria have been arranged from high to low and compared with the size of the media budget. This list eventually resulted in the Findability Top 100.
- The complete Findability Top 100 can be found on the Checkit website: http://www.checkit.nl/study_top100_online_findability.html
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This study was conducted by Ralph Ruyters, master-student business communication & Digital Media at Tilburg University.
Checkit B.V. is a Search Engine Mediabureau which makes and keeps organizations findable on the internet. Checkit offers the top 500-organisations in the Netherlands a complete package of services with which they can optimize their findability on the internet. Checkit is specialist and market leader in the Netherlands in the field of Search Engine Marketing. For more information about Checkit, visit our website: http://www.checkit.nl
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