Website Failure Rate
Back in March 2007, we did a Website Failure Rate test on people that had requested free search engine positioning reports in 2004 - or at least the 420 we still had on file at the time.
The Website Failure Rate test resulted in the following stats:
Of these 420 reports, only 172 sites were still live on the Internet after only 3 years - ONLY 41%.
Of these 172 sites; 35 had either changed hands or now had completely different content. (one of them had even changed from selling baby items, to selling adult toys!)
Of the remaining 137; 43 of them had been optimised and were doing well on the search engines.
The remaining 94were still not firing on the search engines, so we can only assume that the owners were using adwords, direct advertising or simply hadn’t bothered taking their site down.
If we take off the 43 that had been optimised, only 31% of sites that had not been optimised were still live, making a 69% Failure rate.
It gets worse.
If we then deduct the 35 that had changed hands, or changed content, we get the final figure of only 22% of sites that were live and unoptimised in 2004 that were still unoptimised and hadn’t changed hands or changed direction, were still live on the net.
So, in 2007, the failure figure showed that it was around 78%.
Updated Website Failure Rate Test
As it’s Christmas, and I had spare time on my hands over the past couple of days, I’ve dragged out the 2008 search engine positioning reports that I had on file and have investigated these UK-based sites in the same way that we did back in 2007, with the 2004 reports.
We stopped promoting the free search engine positioning reports in June 2008, so I only had 280 completed reports still on file, but I think it’s still sufficient pool to extrapolate some reasonably accurate stats from. My findings:
Of the 280 sites, only 108 sites were still live today - 62% no longer live
Of these 108 sites; 18 had either changed hands or now had completely different content.
Of the remaining 90; 30 of them had been optimised and were doing well on the search engines.
The remaining 60 were still live, but many looked as if they hadn’t been touched in years, with many having broken links, graphics missing etc and didn’t appear on the engines for any of their main terms.
If we take off the 30 that had been optimised, from the 108 sites that were still live, only 28% of sites that had not been optimised were still live, making a 72% Failure rate.
Following through from the 2007 site failure test, if we then remove the 18 that had changed hands, or had completely changed their content, we get the final figure of only 18% of sites that were live and unoptimised in 2008 that were still unoptimised and hadn’t changed hands or changed direction, were still live on the net, making an 82% failure rate!
Not all the site were eCommerce sites, or promotional sites, and a fair few were affiliate sites, but even information sites require regular work to have any longevity on the net, so the odds are against you if you are trying to run any site, without being willing to spend time and money on your website.
78% failure rate in 2007 and an 82% failure rate in 2011, it makes you wonder why people bother? They bother, because there is money to be made on the Internet and the stats clearly show that those that invest in regular optimisation of the site are the people that will still be making money with their sites in three years from now. If only more of the webmasters that requested the reports back in 2008 decided to invest in the future of their site at that time, the failur statistics wouldn’t be so high. I hate to say it, but, “I told you so”