The search engine optimization industry changes every year at a pace unseen pretty much anywhere else. Here are 40 stunning facts and statistics that highlight the amazing pace of change found in the search engine optimization industry.

1. The money is still in the long tail. About half of all searches are longer than four words. (Source: Webspand)

2. Social media is weaving itself into the search engine world, with over 76% of marketers now using social media to support their SEO efforts. (Source: Impactbnd)

3. Ad blindness is trending upwards, making organically listed spaces even more valuable. 70% to 80% of users report ignoring paid ads, instead only focusing on organic search results. (Source: Search Engine Journal)

4. The search engine is the portal to the internet. 93% of online experiences begin at the search engine.

5. Search is trending mobile. 77% of users report using mobile search at work or at home, even though computers may be near by. (Source: Autorevo)

6. Blogging is becoming the norm for businesses big and small. 81% of businesses considering their blogs to be an important asset to their business. (Source: Search Engine Journal)

7. Take note of WordPress SEO if you serve smaller clients; WordPress is the foundation of small business. A full 25% of all websites globally use WordPress as their platform of choice. (Source: Web Presence Solutions)

8. SEO is a major industry, estimated at over 80 billion dollars in value. (Source: Search Engine Journal)

9. The repetition rule applies online as much as it does offline. 47% of buyers viewed 3 to 5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep. (Source: Impactbnd)

10. Content length matters. The average word count of top ranking content in Google is between 1,100 to 1,300 words. (Source : Search Metrics)

11. Google is the dominant search engine with about ⅔ of all searches being initiated on its domain. (Source: Webspand)

12. If every person on earth searched 10 times, they still wouldn’t cover all of Google monthly searches. Google does 100 billion searches every month. (Source: Mashable)

13. Search queries are increasing as attention spans are going down. In 2000, the average online attention span was 12 seconds, and in 2013, it has fallen to only 8 seconds. (Source: Web Presence Solutions)

14. Local search is extremely common and extremely valuable. Half of all mobile searches were done with local intent in mind. More than 6 in 10 resulted in the purchase. (Source: Ironpaper)

15. Change is difficult for business to keep up with. 4 in 10 businesses reported changing search algorithms and budgetary factors to be their most challenging SEO related obstacles. (Source: Web Presence Solutions)

16. The first position gets an enormous percentage of overall traffic. 1 out of 3 clicks on the organic search results go to the first listing. (Source: Impactbnd)

17. Social media improves customer trust. 8 out of 10 buyers say they trust a company more when its CEO is active in social media. (Source: Social Media Today)

18. Search engine use in smartphones is ubiquitous. Almost 9 out of 10 smartphones owners use a search engine at least once a day. (Source: Search Engine Journal)

19. Search engines are a match made in heaven with travellers. 60% of travellers report starting their travel plans on search engines. (Source: Social Media Today)

20. Buyers now turn to search engines for their research. 9 in 10 consumers use search engines for purchasing decisions. (Source: Autorevo)

21. Search engines drive content traffic much more than social media. Search engines, in fact, are the number one traffic driver to content focused sites. (Source: Social Media Today)

22. Content is king when it comes to SEO traffic. 72% of marketers worldwide said that content was their most effective SEO tactic. (Source: Web Presence Solutions)

23. Wikipedia is the favorite child of Google. Over 60% of search queries show a Wikipedia link on the first page of Google. (Source: Social Media Today)

24. Search engines are an excellent funnel entrypoint. 7 out of 10 marketers use broad keyword searches to bring new leads into the top of their marketing funnel. (Source: Impactbnd)

25. It is not easy to create new content. 60% of business to business companies say that their biggest challenge is content production. (Source: Web Presence Solutions)

26. Search engines are originating an enormous share of phone calls. By the end of 2018, an estimated 73 billion phone calls will originate from search engines on mobile alone. (Source: Impactbnd)

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27. Newsletters are still being read. 60% of marketers say their most effective content marketing strategy to consumers is still eNewsletters. (Source: Web Presence Solutions)

28. Navigation is extremely important for a good customer experience. Almost 7 out of 10 mobile users will leave a website if the site navigation is difficult to use. (Source: Zero Gravity Marketing)

29. Small businesses are finally starting to update their sites regularly. 10% report updating once a week; one out of three, once a month; and one out of five, once per year or longer. (Source: Web Presence Solutions)

30. Content pays dividends. Companies that publish 16 or more blog posts per month received 350% more traffic than companies that published between zero to four monthly blog posts. (Source: Hubspot)

31. Seven out of 10 business level purchase decisions start from the search engines. (Source: Autorevo)

32. Facebook dominates business to consumer social media advertising. 94% of respondents report advertising to their customers on Facebook. (Source: Web Presence Solutions)

33. Content marketing creates brand awareness. 70% of marketers say that brand awareness has increased as a result of another content marketing. Six out of 10 believe it improves sales, and 45% say it has actually reduced advertising costs. (Source: Social Media Today)

34. Speed is vital for mobile users. 55% of purchase-related conversations occurred within 1 hour of the initial search on mobile devices. (Source: Autorevo)

[clickToTweet tweet=”Speed is vital for mobile. 55% of purchase conversations occurred within 1 hr of the initial search” quote=”Speed is vital for mobile users. 55% of purchase-related conversations occurred within 1 hour of the initial search on mobile devices.”]

35. Online research is here to stay. Eight out of 10 consumers perform research prior to making large purchases. (Source: Breezy Hill Marketing)

36. Calling readers to act yields results. Emails with share buttons increase click through rates by almost 160%. (Source: Higher Visibility)

37. Choose the websites you link to carefully. 53% of the organic search clicks go to first link of the page. (Source: Autorevo)

38. Content importance has taken center stage. Four out of five business to business marketers use content for their lead generation efforts. (Source: Search Engine Watch)

39. Content quality is the great equalizer. Two out of three smartphone users look for the most relevant information available, regardless of which company provides it. (Source: Hubspot)

40. Descriptions influence visitor behavior. Persuasive meta descriptions, which appear on the search engine page, enhance click through rates. (Source: Hubspot)

Impactbnd – 25 SEO Statistics
Impactbnd – 25 Blogging Statistics
Search Engine Journal – 24 SEO Statistics
Search Engine Journal – 101 Local Strategy
Sharp Inside
Web Presence Solutions
Search Metrics
Social Media Today – 101 Statistics
Social Media Today – 10 SEO Statistics
Zero Gravity Marketing
Hubspot – Blog
Breezyhill Marketing
Higher Visibility
Search Engine Watch