Search Engine Marketing Trumps Social Media Marketing!

A recent study conducted by search engine giant Google has unraveled that search engine marketing is more effective when it comes to generating  word of mouth (WOM) as against the generally perceived social media outlets.

User Behavior

While a cynical side may find this assertion to be Google’s ploy to push its devices, however, it is as true as the day. This finding is only a confirmation of the behavior of a net-user who apparently is more likely to conform to a search engine like Google to get his information bites and spread it via word of mouth.

Study Details

This study looked to ascertain which media is more effective in providing content to consumer conversations about a brand via what we call generally refer to as ‘word of mouth’. Take a look at the statistics Google has put forth following this study.

There occur nearly 3.3 billion brand mentions every day on the internet, of which 2.4 billion events count as conversations about a brand. This roughly translates into 1.4 brand impressions per conversation. And facilitating this high impression rate (as found by the study) is a search engine.

Word of Mouth

Now, defining a link between word of mouth and search engine marketing better, let us define what each entity refers to. Word of Mouth (WOM) is basically passing of information from one person to the other, more typically via oral conversations and more recently via online conversations on social media platforms. Search engine marketing refers to promoting a website by increasing its visibility on a search engine results page.

Presently, search engines impact more than 15% of all word of mouth conversations that take place, both online and orally. In fact, people find impressions generated as a result of an online search 25% more credible and 17% of searches are more likely to lead to purchase than those that result from promotions on social media sites. This uphill trend has further unfolded that 48% of all online talks about a brand are more likely to result in ‘reference marketing’. In fact, a follow-up online search is the most commonly undertaken action as a result of a word of mouth conversation about a brand which in the first place arose from a search activity.


These findings, among others, suggest one basic thing. Search is the most important way to get information so as to distribute information. This is more likely to lead to a circular action of follow-up search, which again facilitates the cycle of information osmosis.

What a web advertiser can take from this finding is that search is an indispensable part of online promotions. You can have all the social media conversations in place, but for that deep seeded impact, search engine marketing is the way to go. While a search engine marketing company is most likely to feel a flurry of ecstatic emotions at this, nevertheless it’s not too late for others to follow suit.


Any search engine marketing company should take heart from the above findings. However, it would be prudent to note here that, search engine marketing can help get the customer to you, but not vice versa. Social media marketing helps you reach out to your target audience, and creates higher levels of user-engagement.

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