As a website owner, I use a lot of tools to assess traffic patterns on my sites, and while doing so recently, I decided that I could use one of them to roughly judge global and U.S. trends for the antiques industry. I wanted to know how the public’s interest in antiques currently stood against historic trends.
Google “owns” web searching globally with an 81% market share that may someday soon become 90% (Yahoo is a distant second at 10% and MSN at 3%). I reasoned that if any data out there can best capture the public’s interest in a particular topic, it is web search traffic.
My not-so-scientific methodology is not meant to be a precise view of the industry, but it should be an interesting window into the general trends over time. There are some obvious errors with my methodology such as not having normalized for search traffic increasing overall since 2004 as more people get online. However, for all I know, Google may have already done that for me within their data.
The charts below shows a relative scale of Google web search activity on a scale of 1-100 from 2004-present. A datapoint of 100 anywhere in the chart denotes the peak of search interest over the past 5 years.
Let’s analyze each one individually (images can be clicked to expand size).
Interest In “Antiques” Since 2004
The first chart shows the precipitous decline of Worldwide search interest in “antiques” since 2004 with today being a 40 on a scale of 100 since 2004, the peak.
The story is not much better if we isolate just the U.S. search traffic. A similar trend is seen as the global trends with today being about a 45 on a scale of 100. Note to the dealers out there – Maine, Vermont and Connecticut are the hot regions – so target the Northeast in general.
Interest In “Victorian Furniture” Since 2004
Our beloved niche of Victorian antique furniture has slipped to below 40 on the timeline in the U.S. at present. If you want the hotbed of Victorian, you need to be in Alabama, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania. Hopefully I’m not personally responsible for Pennsylvania hitting #3.
Interest In Buying Antiques Since 2004
I tried to capture the trend of web searchers actively looking to buy antique furniture with a look at “buy antiques” keyword traffic. That particular search has stayed relatively constant since 2004.
Ebay vs. Craigslist Since 2004
Here is a particularly fun statistic – Craigslist has overtaken the minds of U.S. web searchers looking to buy or sell antiques online. This shift actually took place in the fourth quarter of last year. Makes you wonder why Ebay continues to make moves to disappoint it’s sellers and buyers every time a new change is rolled out – which tend to be moves to increase their profitability and not changes to benefit their users. Don’t they realize that maximizing revenue from a decreasing slice of pie is not progress.
Anyway, I hope this data was as intriguing for you as it was for me. If you know of someone else that would be interested in this information, use the “Email this post” link below.