Nearly done with today’s search popularity stats review. Previously, I’ve covered the latest stats from Nielsen, comScore, and Hitwise. Now it’s time for Compete. Like the others, it puts Google tops. Unlike the others, it’s far more positive about Microsoft’s share and negative about Yahoo.
The Compete stats are here, showing the share of all searches handled in November 2007 by the top four major search engines:
- Google: 68.9%
- Yahoo: 17.4%
- Microsoft: 9.2%
- Ask: 3.9%
Here are the numbers in pie chart format:
Here’s a look at Compete search share stats for the past year:
Google comes in at an all-time high for the period, picking up from where the seasonal "school’s out" slump happened.
Yahoo comes in at an all-time low, in stark contrast to the picture painted by comScore and Hitwise. Meanwhile, Microsoft is shown still above past low spots, again in contrast to the two other services.
I also have search volume stats from Compete for all but one month over the past year. Let’s see the alternative picture they paint. Figures are in billions of searches:
Here, Yahoo looks much healthier. It has pretty much stayed at the 1.4 billion searches range over the past year. While Google’s rising, that’s on the back of new searches coming into the space, as measured by Compete, rather than a loss of searches at Yahoo over to Google.
As a reminder, my general rules when evaluating popularity stats:
- Avoid drawing conclusions based on month-to-month comparisons. Lots
of things can cause one month’s figures to be incomparable to another month.
It’s better to see the trend across multiple months in a row.
- Avoid drawing conclusions based on one ratings service’s figures.
Each service has a unique methodology used to create popularity estimates.
This means that ratings will rarely be the same between services. However, a
trend that you see reflected across two or more services may give you faith in
trusting that trend.
- Consider Actual Number Of Searches: While share for a particular search engine might drop, the raw number of searches might still be going up (and thus they might be earning more money, despite a share drop). This is because the "pie" of searches keeps growing, so even a smaller slice of the pie might be more than a bigger slice in the past. See Nielsen NetRatings: August 2007 Search Share Puts Google On Top, Microsoft Holding Gains for a further explanation of this.