When it comes to share of play, casino action is closing the gap but poker is still tops
Online casino action has encroached on bingo and poker's popularity in the UK's online gaming sector, reveals the latest independent report by Greenlight, a UK search marketing agency.
The research 'Gaming Sector Report - Issue 4', reveals that UK online search volumes for casino-related terms in December 2009 had increased by 24 percent since September. This was confirmed in the online visibility stakes where the likes of Casino.com saw its share of voice in natural search (listings in search engine results pages that appear because of their relevance to the search terms) increase by 7 percent, ascending from position 22 to 8 in Greenlight's league table charting the top 60 most visible websites in natural search.
Greenlight's report used industry data to classify 430 of the most popular search terms that consumers in the UK use to find gaming websites and totalled the number of times each one was used.
This gives an indication of the audience size and a profile of how Google users went about their searches for Gaming websites in December. The data was then collated, and league tables for the most visible website in natural and paid search created for the e-gaming sector.
The report found that search volume for gaming-related keywords increased from 1.7 million in October to 2 million in December.
Poker-related terms remained the most searched for in December, accounting for 47 percent, followed by Casino (27 percent) then Bingo-related terms (26 percent). Compared to the previous quarter, volumes for Bingo and Poker remained relatively consistent.
Overall in natural search, 888.com (39 percent), Wikipedia.org (32 percent) and Pokerstars.com (17 percent) were the top three most visible websites in natural search.
For poker-related keywords in natural search, Wikipedia was the most visible site for poker keyword searches with 47 percent share of visibility. By comparison, 888 achieved 38 percent followed by Pokerstars with 36 percent.
For bingo keywords, FoxyBingo, WinkBingo and GalaBingo were the three most visible sites in natural search accounting for 61 percent, 49 percent and 44 percent share of voice, respectively. By comparison Bingo.com lost 40 percent share of voice, which saw it drop from position two to eight.
For casino-related search terms, 888.com achieved 59 percent share of voice in December in natural search, followed by Casino.com with 52 percent then SpinPalace.com with 49 percent. Whilst SpinPalace increased its share of voice on the previous quarter by 8 percent, it was replaced by Casino.com at position two.
In paid search overall, 888Ladies was the most visible advertiser with 32 percent share of visibility, an 18 percent increase on September. In second place was WilliamHillBingo, having not previously featured in Greenlight's top 60 league table in September. In at third position was WinkBingo with 24 percent, followed by Posh Bingo at 23 percent and Full Tilt Poker at 22 percent.
According to Greenlight, despite the decrease in search volume for bingo keywords in December, the top four advertisers were all bingo websites. Of the top 10 advertisers, five were bingo-specific sites, 4 were poker sites and one was a multi-product site: 888.com.
Full tables can be viewed at http://www.greenlightsearch.com/sectorreports/gaming.html