More on the Gmail/General Motors Mixup
We posted an item the other day from a reader who kept landing on General Motors’ Web site when he went to use his Gmail account; he wondered if many Gmail users did the same, and subsequently wound up buying cars.
We don’t have an answer to that question, but the whole scenario is starting to look a bit less far-fetched than I, and most readers, had assumed. Bill Tancer, the general manager of global research at the search-data firm Hitwise, wrote in to say that he took a look at the issue and came up with some compelling evidence:
Saw the post on the Coase Theorem and the Gmail/GM scenario. On the assumption that someone looking for the Gmail site, upon arriving at GM, would continue on to the correct Gmail URL, we pulled U.S. data on visits leaving car manufacturer sites going to Gmail. Looks like the data confirms the unintentional visit:
www.Gm.com: 0.94% (and Gmail is the top downstream email/social networks site)
www.Toyota.com: 0.14% (Gmail is the 8th downstream email/social networking site)
www.Chevrolet.com: Gmail is not even in the clickstream
www.Fordvehicles.com: 0.09% (Gmail is the 13th downstream email/social networking site)
www.Nissanusa.com: Gmail is not even in the clickstream
Now we just need someone at GM.com to let us know if any of those .94% of outbound visitors bothered to buy a car while they were there. Let me take this opportunity to point out that the original blog post on this subject was sent in by a reader, as was this follow up posting. Clearly, we have some of the best and most proactive blog readers in the universe; you make our job much easier and much more fun. Thanks.