Search Market Opportunity: Laggards?

Hitwise has an interesting post on year over year search referrals for 15 industry categories.

From Hitwise:

For the majority of categories measured at Hitwise, search is the top source of traffic referrals and the share has increased year-over-year. Overall, search is increasing as a traffic driver. Among the parent categories that received less than 25% of traffic from search in April 2008, all except News & Media received a higher share of search referrals last month.

2008 Search Referred Traffic vs. 2009 by Industry

Share of Search Referred Traffic by Industry

Share of Search Referred Traffic by Industry

Hitwise Search Analyst Heather Dougherty suggests the data indicates growth opportunities remain in industries were search hasn’t yet been exploited fully as a referral tool.

According to Dougherty, laggard categories who have yet to capitalize on search referrals are the Automotive, Entertainment, Lifestyle, Gambling, News & Media, Business & Finance and Sports industries.

Could it be the businesses who haven’t yet capitalized on search as a referral mechanism haven’t clearly identified how an increased search engine presence will translate directly into increased revenues for their respective industries?

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