If Only 20% Of The US Population Has Even Heard Of SEO Why Are We Surprised About There Lack Of Knowledge Of Domains?

According to Matt Cutts of Google only 20% of the US population has ever “heard” of the term SEO.

The question wasn’t whether people understand the term SEO, its significance; its importance in the internet community.

The question was  just whether they have heard of it, and the answer of 20% is pretty shocking:

“”In my world, everyone I talk to has heard of search engine optimization (SEO).”

“But I’ve always wondered: do regular people in the U.S. know what SEO is? ”

“With Google’s new Consumer Surveys product, I can actually find out. I asked 1,576 people “Have you heard of ‘search engine optimization’?”

“It turns out only 1 in 5 people (20.4%) in the U.S. have heard of SEO! ”

“The survey also turned up an interesting gender difference: almost 25% of men have heard of SEO, but only about 16% of women have.”

So if only 20% of the US population have heard of SEO, how can we expect them to have heard and understand the value of domain names by in large?




  1. JamesD says

    People see domain names – thousands of them every day…whereas SEO is witchcraft at best – in fact, do we know it even exists… 😉

  2. says

    Good point.

    I’m surprised the % is so low. – One mistake I’ve made in past is trying to buy/resell domains for an industry niche that didn’t understand them.

  3. says

    Just furthers the argument that as domainers not only do we wear the salesman’s hat, but have a major responsibility to be educators also…

  4. says

    google rose to the top because they weren’t involved in seo. that and the fact that “their” page loaded in 2 seconds on dial-up. in the late 90’s alta-vista, hotbot, and a dozen other search engines were involved in seo and for any word you typed in 9 out of 10 responses were for porn sites… those guys knew their seo. so what are you saying? why should the average joe even want to know anything about seo?
    this is google’s main weakness and the only way anybody will ever knock them off.

  5. Chas says

    If only 20% Of The US Population Has Even Heard Of SEO Why Are We Surprised About There Lack Of Knowledge Of Domains?

    I’m not the least bit surprised about their lack of knowledge of domains. I’ve never even bothered to try to explain what I do. You can use the words “Dot Com” but if you go beyond that, you get blank stares or complete disinterest.

  6. says

    I understand that the us population is about 300 million so that would be about 60 million (which is just under the population of the UK) which is alot of people! I recently was thinking about the SEO sector, it moves very fast everyones an expert in a very subjective field. I think to the public its not too important to understand. As you don’t need to know how to fix a car when it breaksdown just where to take it, which might be why so many web designers also claim to be SEO specialists.

  7. says

    “which might be why so many web designers also claim to be SEO specialists”
    Aheh, perhaps. But the design of a website plays a large factor – and if the designer doesn’t know much, chances are your website won’t be indexed as best it could, and many other setbacks could incur, such as duplicate content – even if not in the typical sense.

    Though I don’t know much regarding the web design market, one would hope it would be based on the price factor – but hey, you never know.

  8. says

    Ask random people walking out of Wal-Mart or where ever and i guarantee you that LESS than 5% people have heard about SEO…they might have heard about domain names, but definately NOT SEO.

    20% is way too high!!!

  9. says

    Well, the general public is going to get some very real exposure to domain names in the next 18 months when new extensions start rolling out advertising campaigns.

  10. says

    Yes, it true that web designer and web developer pay a vital role in website SEO. If your website is seo friend. It is good for SEO and you. But if you are talking about SEO knowledge and its percentage in USA, it is not big issue. Because when some one have no idea about it.

  11. Back in the real World says

    “only 20% of the US population has ever “heard” of the term SEO.”

    Thats funny because a scientific study undertaken by Nasa, M16, Mossad and the Revolutionary Guard accross three locations Bletchley Park, Area 51 and LHC Switzerland found that only 20% of people working in SEO actually knew anything about SEO.

  12. turboPascal says

    this stuff is boring to most people. it’s more often than not grunt work. but… it pays.

    i’m not sure many people making money from stuff like seo would necessarily want a majority of the pop. to understand what they do nor how they do it.
    if they did a lot of opportunity might disappear.

    @rathead – the funny part is that google’s downfall will be precipitated by the same changes that led to alta vista’s downfall. the pressure from sponsors and the increased attention to insertion of ads = bloat. in the early days google didn’t have ads. bloat slows down page loading. not to mention polluting the results. and that creates opportunity for an innovator who doesn’t need to take on that bloat to bleed advertisers dry.

Comment Policy:

TheDomains.com welcomes reader comments. Please follow these simple rules:

  • Stay on topic
  • Refrain from personal attacks
  • Avoid profanity
  • Links should be related to the topic of the post
  • No spamming. Listing domains, products, or services will get the comment deleted

We reserve the right to remove comments if we deem it necessary.

Join the Discussion