Google tops UK search engine rankings

Google has consolidated its number one position in the UK, according to a new report on UK search engine performance during the first quarter.

The report, released by search engine marketing company Efficient Frontier, showed that Google still dominates UK online search advertising, capturing 85 per cent of search engine spending in Q1 2008 and increasing its return on investment (ROI) by 14 per since the last quarter of 2007.

It also said MSN made modest gains in share of search spending during the same period, offering the highest ROI of the top three search engines, in spite of the last quarter's 16 per cent increase in 'cost per click'.

The UK Search Engine Performance Report: Q1 2008 found third-place Yahoo had a difficult quarter with sharply declining 'click through rates' (of minus 38 per cent) and a subsequent decline in ROI of six per cent in Q1 2008 compared to Q4 2007.

However, it suggested much of this decline might be attributable to Yahoo's expansion of its partner syndication network into high volume, lower quality sources of search traffic.

David White, Efficient Frontier Europe general manager, said: "We are seeing an increasingly strong front runner in Google in the UK and broader European markets. We are agnostic about where we spend our clients' money and find ourselves raising our investment in Google based solely on the results."

"This report gives our clients and the wider search community visibility into how the search engines perform for our client base, relative to each other," he said.

The vendor compiles its research using algorithm-based technology, which continuously evaluates optimum bids across the top three engines.

It factors in search engine spend and costs, such as click through rates, cost per click and return on investment (ROI), from a fixed sample of UK search engine advertisers across multiple verticals, including retail, finance, travel and telecommunications.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.