With the latest stats from Nielsen and comScore posted earlier today, I continue on with my compilation of the latest search popularity stats, now moving to Hitwise. As with the others, Google is way in the lead for November 2007. But unlike the others, Hitwise has a full year of trending data that can be reviewed. That perspective shows that Google has remained relatively unchanged in terms of share for months, while Microsoft has hit an all-time low.
The Hitwise stats are here, showing the share of all searches handled in November 2007 by the top four major search engines:
- Google: 65.1%
- Yahoo: 21.2%
- Microsoft: 7.1%
- Ask: 4.6%
Here are the numbers in pie chart format:
And the trend over time? Here’s the past year’s worth of data:
Google is just short of its all-time high over the past year of 65.3 percent in April 2007, with the 65.1 percent for November 2007 matching the figure set in May 2007.
Yahoo’s seen a third consecutive month of declines, but that comes off an all-time high over the period of 22.9 percent in September 2007. Even at 21.2 percent for November 2007, it’s still above the all-time low for the past year, 20.7 percent set in April 2007.
Microsoft set a new low for the year-long period, 7.1 percent — the gains made from Live Search Club all apparently eroded. For more on Live Search Club and how that produced a June 2007 spike, see these articles:
- comScore Also Reports Microsoft Search Rise
- Microsoft On Search Gains & Live Search Club
- Compete: Microsoft Gaining Searches; Live Search Club Giveaway Working?
By the way, the Microsoft figure combines the percentage searching at MSN along with those using the "flagship" Live.com and Live Search sites. Far more searches continue to happen at MSN. For November 2007, the combined figure was MSN at 5.5 percent and Live.com at 1.6 percent.
Unfortunately, Hitwise doesn’t report actual number of queries, so I can’t show that interesting perspective. For an alternative view, try my comScore Nov. 2007: Google Tops Search Share; Yahoo Holds Steady In Number Of Searches post.
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.
Also, specifically for Hitwise, you don’t see AOL on the chart above on its own because according to Hitwise, it has had less than one percent search share since August 2006. Currently, Hitwise puts it at 0.37 percent. AOL’s share is part of the "Other" figure.