PPC Clicks and Search Engine Loyalty Study

The Rimm-Kaufman Group, as usual, has just posted an amazing analysis of over 1.8 million orders placed through their clients’ sites. The premise was simple – they wanted to find out how loyal those buyers were to the engines they used. First, a couple quick notes about the study:

  • All clicks from content networks were eliminated
  • Comparison shopping engines and other programs were also eliminated
  • Only data from Google’s Adwords Network, Yahoo’s Network, MSN/Bing, and Ask.com’s Network were used in the study
  • Clicks more than 60 days prior to the order were also removed

There is far too much analysis to cover in this post so I would definitely encourage you to review the comprehensive post linked to above. That said, here is the intial data:


This suggests that Google enjoys the highest level of user loyalty with 97.6% of buyers who first touched a Google ad using only Google ads prior to their purchase.

Personally, I found the next round of anlaysis most interesting: For people who clicked more than one ad before buying, what fraction used the same engine/network for each click? And, has this changed since Bing launched?


  • I think there is definitely more actionable data to pull from this analysis. Clearly, Google users are much more loyal to their engine than the users of both Yahoo and Bing.
  • The overall degree of loyalty per search engine hasn’t shifted much since the launch of Bing. One might surmise that the Google folks are the ones actually testing the waters a bit as their loyalty number seems to have dipped a tiny bit.
  • The Ask.com numbers are distorted by two primary factors: 1) on Ask.com Google ads intermix with their own; and 2) Most Ask.com traffic comes from their network, not Ask.com.

There is so much more analysis to dig into but definitely interesting information to consider when shifting budgets between search engines and even more so when deciding whether to only advertise on Google vs. multiple paid search providers.

Not getting the ROI you need? Ask us about pay per click management!

Comments are closed.