Natural Search Trends of the Internet Retailer 500: Q2 / 2010


This study aims to measure the maturity of natural search efforts in comparison to the pay-per-click spending of the 500 largest internet retailers (Internet Retailer 500).

Executive Summary

We tracked the natural search rankings of each retailers 200 most expensive keywords and found the Internet Retailer 500 is only slightly more visible in natural search than the Fortune 500. Only 33% of their ‘money’ keywords appear in the top 50 natural search results, and the companies average page 6 of the natural search results.

Key takeaways include:

  • The Internet Retailer 500 is slightly more visible than the Fortune 500, yet still; they are largely invisible in natural search with only 33% of their ‘money’ keywords appearing in the top 50 natural search results.
  • The Internet Retailer 500 spend approximately $1.2 million daily on 88,758 keywords, yet only 33% of these keywords rank in the top 50 natural search results.
  • 93% of Internet Retailer 500 companies are not ranking above position 50 in natural search results, only slightly better than the natural search visibility of Fortune 500 companies.
  • Web based retailers (‘Web Only’ merchant type) are the most active in paid search and most visible in natural search, in contrast to more traditional brick and mortar retailers (‘Retail Chain’ merchant type) who are the least.
  • 19% of Internet Retailer 500 companies are completely invisible in natural search for their most expensive paid keywords.