Canadian Searchers Are Different

That’s according to Google in a statement made this afternoon. Jonathan Lister who heads up Google’s Canadian operations made the following comments to CP in relation to a spate of job vacancy adverts that Google is placing to recruit new staff:

Google is now looking for a new head of industry, software engineers, administrative assistants and other staff to help take advantage of Canada’s base of extraordinarily plugged-in Internet users

I think we recognize there’s an incredibly engaged Canadian audience, that Canadians are different from other online consumers or other people who are online.

The fact that Canadians search twice as much as Americans, according to comScore data, is unbelievable. Canadians are (each) searching (an average) of 143 times a month – those aren’t small differences or small changes, that’s a pretty significant and quite powerful difference.

Studies also suggest Canadians spend about a third more time online than Americans, Lister said, while YouTube, Google’s video streaming site, is more popular in Canada than in any other country.

We’re clearly massively engaged and that’s one of the reasons Google is so interested in Canada – we look at this Canadian audience and it is on balance one of the most engaged audiences around the world.

But before you get too complacent, remember that he also said the following to the Post last week:

How would you characterize the online marketing savvy of Canadian advertisers as an industry, relative to the U.S. and the rest of the world?

A. I think it’s partly captured in the percent of overall media that is spent online. We’ve talked about Canadian advertisers spending 11% of their overall budgets online, versus 14% in the U.S. and 21% in Australia. By that measure we are underdeveloped. But I think that’s where we have work to do. That disparity between how engaged consumers are and the relative lack of adoption by advertisers suggests that we have some work to do.



  1. Experian Hitwise Intelligence started focusing more on the Canadian online market this year, and some of their search-related blog postings are interesting. There are tips for US marketers selling into Canada (use “flyer” not “coupon”), an indication that Canadian searchers often add the word “Canada” to a search (so why aren’t they clicking on the Canada-only pages option in Google, and should sites use Canada in their metadata), and a look at successful searches, Bing v. Google.

    I’m curious to see what the Google Canada perspective looks like when they get up and running.

  2. “Canadian searchers often add the word “Canada” to a search (so why aren’t they clicking on the Canada-only pages option in Google”

    @David As a Canadian searcher who does this, I can answer that. I’ve noticed when searching with the “pages from Canada” option checked I get mostly results from or sites that are hosted in Canada but whose content is usually non-Canadian. If I instead perform my search with the word “Canada” in the search, I get much better results.