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Statistics vs Anecdotal Evidence in Online Marketing

Statistics vs Anecdotal Evidence in Online Marketing

A Marketing article written by Elle Meech

When it comes to an effective online marketing campaigns we are driven to look at statistics and 'proven' methods behind the techniques before we deploy them. However, we also scour blogs and content to see what the experts say, but exactly how much of this is based on statistics?


The Expert says so

Every good marketer worth their salt has a mantra or bundles of advice to give - the next level of SEO, how to attract visitors to your site, a good landing page to convert leads and so on and so forth.

It would be safe to say a lot of this is based on opinion as well as cold hard facts, however, does anecdotal evidence, meaning evidence based on non factual reports hold any standing when it comes to online marketing?

I believe so; this is my opinion because without a strong community of marketing professionals reporting on changes, updates and revealing what works for them, the effectiveness of campaigns would die out.

It is Fact so it’s Correct

You can do a Google search on anything that is possible to imagine, so quickly typing in “statistics on online marketing” gets you these results:

Now if you delve deeper into the statistics represented you will find many of them come from companies who are selling SEO, analytical and online marketing services. A lot of these stats come from as far back as 2010 - only four years you may think.

Four years is a long time when it comes to technology these days. For example,the following are the algorithm updates performed by Google in that time:


May Day, Caffeine, Google Instant, Negative Reviews, Social Signals


Overstock.com penalty, Attribution Update, Panda, Panda 2.0, Panda 2.1, Schema.org, Panda 2.2, Google +, Panda 2.3, Panda 2.4, Expanded Sitelinks, Pagination Elements, 516 Algo Updates, Panda 2.5, Panda Flux, Query Encryption, 10 Pack Updates, Panda 3.1, December 10 pack


January 30 pack, Search + Your Word, Panda 3.2, February 17 Pack, Venice, February 40 Pack, Panda 3.3, Search Quality Video, Panda 3.4, March 50 Pack, Parked Domain Fix, Panda 3.5, Penguin, Panda 3.6, April 52 Pack, Knowledge Graph, Penguin 1.1, May 39 Pack, Panda 3.7, Panda 3.8, Link Warnings, Panda 3.9, June/July 86 Pack, DMCA Penalty, 7 Results, Panda 3.9.2, Panda #20, EMD Update, August/September 65 Pack, Penguin #3, Page Layout #2, Panda #21, Panda #22, Knowledge Graph Expansion, Panda #23


Panda #24, Panda #25, Phantom Update, Domain Crowding, Penguin 2.0, Payday Loan Update, Panda Dance, Multi-Week Update, Panda Recovery, Knowledge Graph Expansion, Unnamed Update, In-depth Articles, Hummingbird, Penguin 2.1, Unnamed Update, Unnamed Update,  Authorship Shake Up


Page Layout #3, Unnamed Update, Payday Loan 2.0,  Panda 4.0

Hedging your bets

As far as picking one method over the other for your online marketing strategies, it is probably the case of better safe than sorry and not putting your eggs in one basket on this one. Do what works for you – but don’t ignore cold hard facts when it comes to online marketing as one day Google will update and may come back to bite you, just ask overstock.com.