Making sense of the Google Benchmarking figures

Analyse

Hopefully, I just posted the raw data from my Google benchmarking experiment for the top ten categories for web sites based on the average number of visitors a site of the same size could expect to attract over the same period of time in each category.

As you may remember, the top ten categories overall were:

  • Food & Drink                  70
  • Industries                       69
  • Recreation                     68
  • Travel                            65
  • Animals                          63
  • Home & Garden              60
  • Automotive                    59
  • Health                           58
  • Beauty & Personal Care   56
  • Local                             54

Further exploration of these revealed some interesting observations:
Within Food and drink, the strongest category overall, the top performing sub category was restaurant supplies with 102, but this was out performed by a number of sub cetegories in other subjects, namely:

  • Veterinarians                                152
  • Valves Hoses & Fittings                  144
  • Plastics & Polymers                       124
  • Metals & Mining                             117
  • Packaging                                     111
  • Trucks & SUVs                               107
  • Rail Transport                               106
  • Industrial Materials & Equipment     104
  • Cosmetic Surgery                          103

All of which is great news if you’re a vet, or understand the industries highlighted, as it suggests these are areas where there is a high demand for little available information. However, none of these categories are any use to me.

The Internet category was far and away the worst performing of the lot, suggesting that the whole area is oversubscribed with poor quality websites. Even the top performing sub categories look poor in comparison to most other top level categories:

  • Skins Themes & Screensavers                     24
  • Search Engine Optimization & Marketing     22
  • Web Stats & Analytics                               14
  • Online Goodies                                        13
  • File Sharing & Hosting                                6
  • MySpace Codes & Graphics                         6
  • Search Engines                                          6
  • Affiliate Programs                                      5
  • Web Services                                            3
  • Email & Messaging                                      3
  • Internet                                                     2
  • Web Portals                                               1
  • Web Hosting & Domain Registration             1
  • Web Design & Development                        0

The “big four” niche areas as touted by so many would be gurus actually perfomed

  • Business                         39
  • Dating & Relationships    19
  • Health                           58
  • Hobbies                         53

Putting them squarely in the middle of the field. Of course that’s only considering traffic, not profit potential, and Google’s categorization system is somewhat eccentric to say the least, but it does appear to call some of their “wisdom” into question.

looking at my interests, skills and experiences and comparing them to Google’s benchmarking categories, I’m left with the following information:

Dancing 98
Aquaculture 98
Wine 87
Home Furnishings 83
Alcoholic Beverages 76
Crops &Seed 73
Food &Drink 70
Flowers 68
Cooking &Recipes 67
Gardening 63
Weddings 63
Home & Garden 60
Liquor 59
Health 58
Obesity 55
Interior Design 54
Hobbies 53
Crafts 53
Environmental Issues 52
Parties & Occasions 50
Vocational & Continuing Education 50
Horticulture 45
Parenting & Family 43
Flowers Gifts & Greetings 40
Distance Learning 31
Business Plans & Presentations 30
Homemaking & Interior Decor 30
Music 28
Self-Help & Motivational 28
Nutrition 28
Writing & Editing Services 27
Women’s Interests 24
Search Engine Optimization & Marketing 22
Special & Restricted Diets 22
Podcasting 21
Dating & Relationships 19
How-To & Expert Content 17
Blogging Resources & Services 14
Weight Loss 14
Small Business 4
Home Office 3

Tomorrow I’ll be breaking down what this means to my niche idea creation process, and where I’ll be going next to test the validity of some of my ideas.

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