Yahoo! Is a Girls Search Engine

Source Title:
User Demographics, Intent Differ among Search Engines
Story Text:

This just cracked me up, search demographics show that a teeny weeny little margin exists between male and female users of Search engines - Really, why is this being trumpeted as some major find? Check out the figures...

The audience breakdown for the month of June by gender at Google was 51.5% male, vs. 49.7% at Yahoo, 49% at, 48.1% at AOL Search, and 46.3% at Ask Jeeves.

...and your point is?

Of slightly more interest was the "likely to buy" figures.

One other area of difference among engines is in an index comScore has developed to indicate the buying power of visitors to sites. ComScore data indicate that in June, visitors to Google sites were 42% more likely to buy online than the average Internet users, versus Yahoo visitors who were 31% more likely to purchase; MSN users who were 48% more likely to purchase; AOL users, 3%; and Ask Jeeves users, 17%.

That sounds reasonable to me. Tally up with you?



It's certainly true in our case that of the big 3, G converts best, and Y converts worst, by a significant margin. I think it has to do with the less serious and more entertainment nature of the entire Y beast.

MSN is in the middle in our case, maybe by virtue of some influence they have at the desktop level (meaning that some more serious users just default into their site).

G and Y don't have that (yet). With G, it seems that more users are going there with serious intent of various kinds, while at Y lots are there to email, play, browse, etc. Very different mindsets between the 'average' G user and the 'average' Y the extent that one is willing to generalize.

All just guesswork though.


Yahoo! and MSN are considerably more conversion-prone that Google for 3 sites we run, and break even on a 4th. I had heard as recently as Toronto SES from another study that Google users were "less" likely than Yahoo! and MSN users to convert (this was specifically for retail items, though)...

I prize Y and MSN traffic

well above G in terms of £ per UV. G just does such volume though...

Conversion depends

on the product or service, at least that is what I see.

Low cost items seem to do best in google, but higher ticket items do better in M$N(I have no clue why), while Yahoo does seem more entertainment and youth focused, so products targeted at those demographics do well in Yahoo.

Yep ;-)

Most of what we do is more consumer, service oriented. Big ticket or small, G dominates in both share and ROI. Wish it weren't so though. Across about 20 main categories.

Lots0, I believe you're right. I have seen numerous indications that SE conversions vary a lot by category, which is not surprising, since the audience profiles of G and Y differ. The male/female ratios aside, Y's strategy is certainly more entertainment oriented...and they're going even more in that direction according to pronouncements from their exec suites. If I were selling dating to young singles, or tank tops to teens, I'd probably gear towards Y.

I have the most trouble trying to understand MSN's audience. Seems like it should resemble Y, but acts closer to G.

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