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MySpace Drives More Retail Traffic Than MSN

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[ Social Media]

You expect to see Google at the top the of list in pretty much any search breakdown, followed distantly behind by Yahoo!. But would you, in any category, expect MSN to be outdone by MySpace? Online shopping just got a lot more social.

Hitwise reports that Google was the top US search engine driving traffic to the Shopping and Classifieds category of websites for the week ending August 26. Yahoo! sends waves of traffic that way to the tune of 4.69 percent.

Though Hitwise puts MSN in third with 2.33 percent, it’s only because of the name of the category. The list was for search engines, not social networking sites. MySpace directed more traffic to the likes of eBay, Amazon and Craigslist than MSN, accounting for 2.53 percent of all US upstream visits.

“Holy smokes” should be the phrase bounding in your head.

“Search is a proven method of acquiring traffic and Google is the leader in driving online retail site traffic,” said Bill Tancer, general manager of Global Research at Hitwise.

“With the growth of MySpace and others, online retailers should expand their focus beyond search to consider social networking sites as a source of additional traffic.”

Harnessing the potential of MySpace has hitherto been touch and go. Traditional advertisers have balked at the lack of control that exists within the social networks. But perhaps more of a barrier has been uncertainty about how to use this new real estate effectively. It’s difficult to the course if you’ve never been there before.

You remember the first day of a new school, walking in amongst a group of strangers for good or ill, and putting yourself out there for acceptance or ridicule? It’s like that.

So what we look to then are those that aren’t wasting any time and seeing how they fare in the social networking space. Nanette Marcus over at iMedia, put together an examination of five brands that are effectively using MySpace to form a relationship with a new buying public.

Jack In The Box, Nike, Honda, Cingular, and Aquafina get the prize in Marcus’ estimation. Wal-Martnot so good.

The Hitwise report also revealed the top searched brands, generic terms and products driving searchers to shopping sites for the month of August.

The top brands: eBay, Craigslist, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Amazon, Home Depot, and Sears.

The top products: Barbie, iPod, Heelys, Crocs, Bratz, Lego, Webkinz, Bowflex, Proactive, Air Force Ones.

The top generic terms: lingerie, sex toys, Halloween costumes, auto parts, textbooks, shoes, furniture, cell phones, checks, flowers.

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