Rise of direct navigation and the death of the search box?

More evidence that the age-old search box is on the outs. Take this article with a little grain of salt, because it’s written by Sedo who hosts domain sales, auctions, and escrow accounts. DomainWire.com blogs about the article here.

While this is going on, browser maker Firefox is raking in millions from type-in traffic, redirecting users to PPC pages and taking a large cut of the ad revenue.

After using the Google search box for so long, I admit I’m getting a little bored with the routine. Why not head straight for the browser’s address bar and cut 1/2 the clicks and time? Navigating to the Google site puts that search box right in the middle of the window. This is a little easier to get to than the browser address bar. Why not put the standard browser address bar in the middle of the screen too — bring it up with the press of a hot-key? Gold! I hope no one is reading this…

So what do advertisers do? Buy keywords or generic domain names? Both, I suppose. But then there’s the not-so-public engineering behind what happens when a user types something into the browser’s address bar that’s not a URL. Browsers are a fad, they come and go, but ads on a web page and domain names are with us for ever…

Here’s a stat from Monte Cahn, CEO of Moniker.com blogged here:

He says that 70 percent of internet surfers use direct navigation, up 53% from four years ago. The rest use search engines.

Is the user experience of direct navigation better than the search box, or are people getting bored of that ubiquitous Google rectangle?

Advertisers are pushing the search terms directly onto the public, especially in Japan, but that’s gamble. Not only do advertisers have to pay for the physical ad, but also for the keywords when users go online. This is when collecting generic domain names around a product can really payoff. DomainWire.com takes us out with this, bringing hope to Joe Average domain owner:

But as companies spend thousands of dollars a month on pay-per-click, they’ll soon figure out that paying $25,000 or more for a domain name is a great deal.

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