An interesting coup for Cnet: MediaPost reports it topped all other search engines, by a rather wide margin, in a recent WebSideStory study which compared vertical shopping engines on a key metric: whether visitors from the engine who clicked through to a commerce site actually convert into buyers. Cnet’s conversion rate of 1.64% was better than AOL, the #2 engine, by 28%.
I’d like to know why this is. I’ve sent a note to folks at Cnet, and I congratulate them – it’s been a rough few years for them as they weathered the tech nuclear winter, but I’ve always had a soft spot for the company – it launched roughly at the same time as Wired, and has really seen it all.
Order Conversion Rates: Searches To Gift/Electronics Sites
Update: I must’ve been rushed and didn’t think this through, as I was driving to a Webby business awards tonight I realized of course Cnet has better conversion because it’s a vertical portal that aggregates folks with intent to buy particular technology items. Matt points this out in the comments section as well.
One thought on “Cnet Gets Some Good News”
These stats say a lot about the quality of the audience on a search engine. Though Google may be the largest single traffic driver for us at InfoWorld, up to 5% at times, the search terms that are found to drive them to us are rarely very meaningful (“aol 9.0” for example). Our sales guys point this out when talking to high-end advertisers who want to make their money mean something. A quality content site is going to offer a much more valuable click than a big search engine.