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SMEs ignore search engine importance and lose their share of £19.2 billion online sales


02 March, 2006 – Almost half of all small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) do not submit their web sites to search engines, research carried out by Fasthosts ( ) has found. Additionally, a massive 66 per cent of internet users and potential customers indicated that they only looked at the first two pages of search results. These two findings mean that most small businesses may never be discovered online, resulting in loss of revenue every day they are not visible on the web. Fasthosts’ “SMEs On The Web” survey asked more than 2,000 SMEs about their search engine practices, attitudes towards sponsored links and favoured search engines.

In 2005, UK consumers spent £19.2 billion online on goods and services and that figure is forecast to grow by 36 per cent in 2006 (IMRG). Consumers use search engines as a first point of call to search for products and services, and 89 per cent of respondents stated that Google was their search engine of choice. However, companies need to ensure a high listing within the natural results on the left hand side, as 30 per cent of respondents indicated that they never click on sponsored links.

“Our study once again shows the importance of search engines. In 2006, no business can afford to be invisible online, yet too many SMEs are,” commented Andrew Michael, CEO, Fasthosts. “I was amazed to see that SMEs are not considering how much they personally use search engines when it comes to the importance of ranking for their own company. If you are not listed on Google, your web site might as well not be online,” he added.

Fasthosts’ TrafficDriver offers a free search engine submission service with its business web hosting package. The package includes an easy to use site creation tool and automated monthly search engine submissions - furthermore it has integrated advanced search engine optimisation to establish and improve sites search rankings. By using these Fasthosts tools companies can create an online presence and generate traffic within days.

2094 businesses participated in the online survey carried out during January and February 2006 by Fasthosts. 49 per cent of respondents admitted that they do not submit their website to search engines, which accounted for 1,026 votes. To take part in the survey, and to see the full results, please visit .

About Fasthosts
Fasthosts ( ) is the UK’s largest independent hosting company. Based in the UK, and operating 24x7 from their dedicated UK data centres, Fasthosts keeps over 1 million domains running smoothly and ensures over 6 million emails are delivered safely each day. All Fasthosts services can be self-managed through the award winning Fasthosts web-based control panel, enabling customers to set up and manage new websites, email accounts, databases, and other hosted services online. Fasthosts was voted the number one webhost by in September 2005; won the Web Host Directory ’eCommerce webhosting award’ and was also announced as the best dedicated server package in August 2005 by HostReview.

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Rainier PR
+44 (0) 207 494 6570


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