Costless dating sites prove a hit with UK consumers surfing for love

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Latest quarterly research from Greenlight reveals most popular online dating search terms and most visible websites to searches

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The majority of consumer online queries in September pertained to free dating sites

A third* of new relationships begin online and on average, nine million Britons log on to dating sites in their quest to find a significant other, an industry which research firm Mintel estimates will be worth £150 million by 2014.

So when consumers hit the surf for romance, what are some of the most common words typed in that search box?

Leading independent digital marketing agency, Greenlight, analysed September search data to identify the most popular online dating-related keywords consumers used when they went to Google UK to begin their search, and in turn, to discern the most visible online dating sites to them.

The agency’s ‘Online Dating Report – Issue 2’ found there were over 871,000 dating-related searches made online in September.

The majority of consumer queries (15%) were for complimentary internet dating sites, the terms ‘free dating sites’, ‘free dating’ and ‘free online dating’ cumulatively amounting to 132,600 searches.

Other popular searches included ‘first dates’, ‘mature dating’ and ‘polish dating’.

Greenlight further analysed and grouped the queries into categories split by age, cultural preferences and location.

‘Senior dating’, ‘senior dating agency’, ‘mature dating uk’ and ‘older women dating’ emerged as the four most popular searches for age-related queries.

Queries denoted by culture and preference made up 14% of overall dating-related searches. ‘Polish dating’ ‘asian dating’ and ‘christian dating’, dominated. ‘single parent dating’ and ‘widow dating’ also featured prominently.

Location-wise, London was prevalent in three of the ten most queried terms with ‘speed dating london’ making up the majority (13%) of the 64,000 searches in this group. In fact, speed dating showed no sign of having lost its sparkle, the term featuring in dating-related searches sought out in Bristol, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Greenlight ranked the most prominent websites to online dating-related searches overall and split by group. was the most prominent site in the organic listings** overall. It was visible to over 403,000 dating-related queries which saw it garner a 46% share of visibility. was the most visible advertiser, achieving a 51% share of voice in the paid listings***.


Notes to Editors:

*Source: The Guardian

**Natural /organic Search - Listings in search engine results pages that appear because of their relevance to the search terms

***Paid Media – an Internet advertising model used on websites, in which advertisers pay their host only when their ad is clicked. With search engines, advertisers typically bid on keyword phrases relevant to their target market

Greenlight’s ‘Online Dating Report – Issue 2’ profiled consumer search behaviour in this sector. It assessed which brands, websites and advertisers were the most visible in natural, Paid Media results, and Social Media and hence had the greatest share of consideration when consumers used Google UK to make online dating-related searches in September 2013. Splits include generic queries, location, age and culture and preferences.

Greenlight’s research covers the following industries and sectors:

HOME GOODS - Home & Garden
CLOTHING & ACCESSORIES - Fashion Retail / Sports Retail
CONSUMER SERVICES - Online Dating / Entertainment
GAMING & GAMBLING - Online Gambling
FINANCE - Personal General Insurance / Life Insurance / Retail Banking
TRAVEL & HOSPITALITY – Holidays / Hotels / Flights / Car Hire / Cruises
REAL ESTATE – Property (Residential)
TELECOMS – Telecoms

To arrange an interview or for further information about this report, Greenlight’s research portfolio or bespoke reports, please contact:

Krishna Rao
T: +44 (20) 3326 6232
E: krishna.rao(at)greenlightdigital(dot)com

About Greenlight:

Greenlight is a leading independent digital marketing agency. With over 100 blue-chip clients including Santander, Sky and ghd, Greenlight is a leader in the digital marketing space, and is recognized worldwide for its commitment to delivering record ROI for its clients and investing in the future.

Greenlight is considered the premier thought leader in the sector publishing widely read industry reports, original research and speaking at trade events. Founded in 2001, Greenlight is headquartered in London, with offices in New York.


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