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SMX London 2008 – Day 1 Session 2

Henry Elliss
Henry Elliss
Managing Director
4 November 2008

After the excitement of session 1, we moved on to the world of the ‘Global Search Universe’ for session 2. If I’m perfectly honest, this session wasn’t half as interesting as the keynote speech, but I still got a fair bit out of it. However, my notes are more of a stream-of-consciousness than any useful text, so I’m simply going to present you with a bunch of interesting things that I learned in Session 2…

- If the same proportion of people as the US had broadband in Asia, there would be approximately 2.5 billion internet users with a high-speed connection in the East.
- If you look at the world-wide distribution of IP addresses, the UK is second only to the US, taking up approx. 20% of the non-US IP volume. The next 4 countries are China, Japan, Germany and France.
- The top 5 languages used on the internet are English, Chinese, Spanish, Japanese and French
- Google now makes more money internationally than they do in the US, with the US revenue figures staying pretty much flat for the past 3 quarters.
- The third most popular Google property accessed in the UK today (after .co.uk and .com) is .PL, the Polish version of Google.
- According to Robin Goad and Hitwise, Google now consumes over 88% of the UK search market. For the US it’s now approximately 73%, for Australia it’s around 90% and for Singapore it’s 71%.
- The percentage of searches being carried out in the UK which are classed as ‘Navigational’ (i.e. typing in Facebook to Google rather than going there direct) is a massive 88%!
- The volume of ‘generic’ searches (i.e. cheap flights) is decreasing as users get more sophisticated – the volume of complex searches (i.e. cheap flights to Barcelona flying from Manchester) is on the increase.
- According to Linus Gregoriadis, 60% of companies are planning to increase their spend on SEO this year. In 2008, £330m will be spent on SEO in the UK.

When asked a similar question to session one, Linus from e-consultancy was a lot more cautious, saying that claims that Search is recession-proof may need revising. This is due to the conversion rates being lower he says, as people are spending less.

I was going to add a photo to this entry, but when browsing through them it seems that most conference photos come out looking very similar. Instead, I shall treat you to an image that excited me far more than is probably sensible – it’s the building used in Spooks on BBC1, which I realised with great glee is next door to the conference building!

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