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We’ve been harping on about this for years. The URL is dying, replaced with search:

Of the 10 fastest rising search terms on Google last year, 7 were for searches where adding a “.com” would have brought the user to the correct site. These are called “navigational” searches — searches done when the user already knows exactly where he or she wants to end up — and they make up a surprising large number of total searches…. According to Compete last fall, navigational searches make up about 17% of all searches on average, more on Yahoo! and Live than on Google. For well-known web sites, Compete found that about 9 out of the top 10 search terms for that site tend to be some sort of variation on the domain. Surprisingly, people actually often search for entire domain names rather than type them into their browser’s address bar.

3 Responses

  1. By Kevin Dugan on May 22nd, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    This is one more reason corporations need to go beyond their finely manicured web sites and engage in communities and social networks.

    You want to be where you audience already is online. But the added search mojo ensures they’ll find you when they look.

    Which reminds me of my fave example: Jeep Experience. They planted their flag on YouTube, Flickr and what not and then “brilliantly” aggregated it all into a community site.

    Think about the “old days.” Jeep would have wanted to build that site and spend money attracting eyeballs. Today they spent half as much money and it is twice as successful. And Google’s watching the whole thing, cataloging for Jeep folk to find at their whim.

  2. By Steve on May 25th, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    That doesn’t really make a lot of sense. How is the URL dead? What will you have in it’s place?

    Last time I checked search engines still had a URL you had to browse too.

  3. By Larry on June 4th, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    URL’s aren’t dead. (Most) People aren’t intentionally searching for the site they are trying to visit; most who search for domains are conned into believe they are typing an address into the address bar when in fact they are using a search toolbar of some kind that has been added to the browser.

    I’ve lost count of how many people I’ve run into over the years that truly did not know the difference between the address bar on the browser and the Yahoo (or Google) toolbar Search field that was installed on the system.

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