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comScore Nov. 2007: Google Tops Search Share; Yahoo Holds Steady In Number Of Searches
Continuing on from my
earlier post about Nielsen Online’s latest search
popularity stats, I’m now moving to those from
comScore. For November 2007 — as with
Nielsen — it’s the same-old, same-old. Google’s on top, followed by Yahoo and Microsoft.
But in terms of raw searches, while Google still shows gains, at least Yahoo can
point to six months’ worth of holding steady.
The comScore stats are
showing the share of all searches handled by the five "core" search engines, as
comScore calls them:
- Google: 58.6%
- Yahoo: 22.4%
- Microsoft: 9.8%
- Ask: 4.6%
- AOL: 4.5%
Here are the numbers in pie chart format:
How about the trend over time? Unfortunately, I can’t show a full year.
That’s because comScore significantly changed its ratings methodology
back in July 2007,
making figures they’ve reported in the past not comparable to those from that
month forward. But I can show you the last six months:
The stats show Google continuing to gain share against its two major
competitors, Yahoo and Microsoft. However (and per my standard caveats below),
in terms of number of searches (rather than the share of the overall pie),
Yahoo’s pretty much held its own over the past six months, staying in the 2.3
billion range. Number of searches handled by each search engine, shown in
Notice in particular the large Google spike in number of searches as of
October 2007 (from 5.4 billion to 6.2 billion), which continued into November 2007
(5.9 billion). The best guess (and it is a
guess) I have for this change is likely down to heavy Google users returning to
school. Of course, other search engines also have school users. But it might be
that Google has significantly more of them, enough to register a half-billion
Also keep in mind that the total number of searches used for the charts above
represent searches only at the "core" search engines, which comScore defines as:
Based on the five major search engines including partner searches and
cross-channel searches. Searches for mapping, local directory, and
user-generated video sites that are not on the core domain of the five search
engines are not included in the core search numbers.
In total, core searches totaled 10.5 billion in November 2007. In contrast,
"expanded" searches that reflect anywhere search activity happens (such as eBay
or Craigslist) totaled 13.9 billion searches.
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
August 2007 Search Share Puts Google On Top, Microsoft Holding Gains for a
further explanation of this.