The Business of Search – #MancSEO Mini Conference

Nichola Stott – The Business of Search

Nichola is Director and co-Founder of theMediaFlow and has worked for some of worlds’ largest digital communications businesses, including PR Newswire and Yahoo.

Nichola has established a reputation as a leading search industry speaker and writer and is a regular contributor to SearchEngineWatch, SEO-Chicks, Econsultancy and State of Search.

Search Business Metrics

What is the value of search for search engines? How do they calualte the value of search:

search x coverage x CPC X CTR = revenue

divide this by 1000

= Revenue per thousand searches (RPM)


UK December 2009 = 6,245,000,000 searches

Google share = 90%

Take a general guess at the figures (I couldn’t see them from my seat!) Work it out!

What are the important metrics to the search engines?


6% increase sees a small increase in RPM as additional coverage is pretty low click value. Also the click through rate is likley to drop as they are lower value search terms (and less likely to be clicked on)


6% increase in CPC sees a small rise in RPM but:
by tweaking parts of the alogrithm you can help increase CPC but this is likely to result in a drop in CTR due to lower quality adverts higher in the positions


Can improve quality, have to be careful not to take too much away from organic. Can improve match technologies. Also need to avoid dropping the abondoment rate (i.e. people moving to other search engines)

The “First Page Objective” to increase search CTR

Bascially thinking that Google are trying to shift all action to page one (see recent local search changes + many others). If we have much more relvant searches on the first page then we decrease abondonment rate & increase CTR.
Recent chnages – mayday, google instant,


Any UI changes hat may come through soon to help the ‘first page objective’ in your opinion?
Augmeted reality on mobile: see graphical representations of local attractions when doing search.

Comment Ben: Certainly more mobile search & improved functionality/user interaction in my opinion. Google instant being the first major development in this area – much more to come!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

3 thoughts on “The Business of Search – #MancSEO Mini Conference”

  1. Hi Ben – thank you so much for writing up my session.nnThe figures that you mention were obscured from your position were as follows;nn1M (searches) x 85% (coverage) x 18p (cpc) x 15% (ctr) = u00a322,950nErgo an estimated RPM of u00a322.95nnI should point out that my estimate of the Google business metrics is based on four years at Yahoo!nnIn estimating the figures, my objective wasn’t so much to be as accurate as possible in getting those figures correct – (I mean, how could one prove it anyway?) but more to show the interplay between the derivative metrics. So how an increase in one derivative value, might have a knock-on effect on the others.nnThanks again!

    • Attacat Ben says:

      oh – and added your link, better late than never!

  2. Attacat Ben says:

    Hi Nichola,nnI enjoyed the talk – certainly chasing the search engine’s revenue model will give us insight into future developments in SEO & even more so PPC.nnCheers for sending through the figures!nThanks againnBen

Like the Brain? Sign up for the packed-full-of-tips monthly newsletter