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The Shift from Search to Social

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A recent report from Forrester Research indicates that half of all Internet users age 18 to 23, and nearly a third of all Americans, use social media as their preferred discovery method on the Internet. Along with the overall popularity of search engines trending downward, this is a clear sign that consumer habits are shifting toward social media.

For years, Google has been the leading traffic source for many website owners. And search engines like Google still remain the most popular choice for users to find what they’re looking for. But this latest statistic from Forrester signals that user habits are changing — and quickly. And where user habits shift, so do advertisers. The scale may be starting to tip in favor of social media as the preferred advertising of choice for marketers.

A Positive Note for Google

While using social media for discovering websites is increasing, it should be noted that search isn’t down and out yet. Search engines still edge out social media as the primary way that users find what they are looking for. In addition, the report from Forrester indicates that 18 percent of users clicked paid search results to find websites. This represents a big jump — more than double — from the prior year. So while overall search engine usage is dropping, this is a positive sign that paid search listings are increasing in importance.

Do your marketing efforts reflect the changing way that people discover your website?


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