Search Engine Demographics

Real Estate Agent with Equity Real Estate - Luxury Group

I attended a SEO teleconference a few weeks ago where the presenter was discussing the demographics of who was using a particular search engine (Google, Yahoo, MSN, AOL).

His supositions were:

  1. People use browser based email for their personal email accounts.  And, that they will use the embedded search tool when performing searches.
  2. A vast majority of the Google searches came from MySpace (which uses an embedded Google search tool) -- which would equate to a teenager/early-20's demographic.
  3. Yahoo/MSN/AOL email users tend to be over 30 years old...therefore would represent a larger home buying demographic.

His conclusion was that if we're going to optimize our real estate websites ... we should focus first on AOL, MSN, and Yahoo before Google. 

I found his conclusions a bit over the top ... but, reserving the right to be wrong, thought I'd query the group to see if anyone had heard a similar demographic breakdown for the search engines.  As a side note, I saw a recent report that Google represented 32% of searches, AOL/Netscape: 28%, MSN: 14%, Yahoo: 12%. 

And, which search engine do you use to perform searches?

Comments (4)

Fred Light
| Nashua Video Tours - Nashua, NH
Real Estate Video Tours for MA and NH

I think this presenter is on drugs...

Google represents 64% of all search engine queries just this March.  Yahoo= 21%, MSN = 9.2%.

Who uses MSN?  They're such an 'also-ran' these days it's a bit of a joke. And to my knowledge, MSN has been a distance #3 in the search engine race for years and years. (BTW, AOL Search results come from Google - notice they're the same?). 

All of his 'supositions' I find to be a bit ridiculous....   

Apr 29, 2007 03:16 PM
Nick Coleman
Equity Real Estate - Luxury Group - Park City, UT

I agree he probably was little out there.  I think the stats given were based on direct searches ... i.e. someone used the Google or AOL search tool, not the data source.

AOL uses Google as thier backend (so, that would put 60% of users using Google search results from just those two tools).  But, if you type a keyword into the Google and AOL search tools, they will deliver different results.  So, would seem that while AOL uses Google data, it has different criteria/algorithms for what it shows.  If correct, then we would want to consider the differences when we optimize our sites.   The real question then would be, what should we do different (if anything) to acheive better AOL position.

Apr 30, 2007 01:22 AM
Dale Bradbury
John L. Scott Real Estate - Kent, WA

I think you should not focus too much on whether your SEO efforts are geared more towards one or the other.   The reality is that the most used search terms that people use if they are looking for real estate is "'your city' real estate, 'your city' mls listings and 'your city' homes for sale.

Do those searches yourself and look at the content of those websites.   Most all of them have reciprocal link pages that are heavily linked to other agent sites--they've been trading links sometimes for years.  Also, your site needs to have lots of content that repeats your keywords.  Pages that have updated content Google will visit more often.   So, relevant content and links...?

my .02

May 11, 2007 08:28 AM
Ervin Alston
EMA GRAPHICS - Virginia Beach, VA

Hello Nick,

I am using MSN, google, and Yahoo.  I've just realized that I am not using AOL.  I need to look at using AOL.  Thanks!


Feb 21, 2009 04:27 PM