New research finds that online only retailers like Amazon are doing a far better job at search engine optimization (SEO) than their brick and mortar competitors.

The study from Internet Engine looked at the search results of companies over the last three holiday shopping seasons and found that online retailers received more than 30 percent of the listings on Google, Yahoo and MSN Live. By contrast, brick and mortar retailers had about 12 percent.

Steven Rogers, professor of entrepreneurship at Northwestern University said the results of this study show that companies that are more tied into the internet have a better understanding of how to incorporate search engine optimization (SEO).

"This is a classic example of how the more nimble entrepreneurs will use new technology and innovation to replace old school marketers," he said. "Traditional retailers are relying on brand awareness to drive their internet marketing programs, while these start-up online retailers are reaching consumers in new and creative ways."

Although traditional retailers have increased their online presence over recent years, they still lag behind even groups like manufacturers, according to the study.

A report last month from Internet Retailer found that 72 percent of companies said that search engine optimization (SEO) is their top priority in 2009.