comScore Gives Google Maps January Win

    February 16, 2009

Don’t be surprised if members of the Google Maps team start to favor comScore over competing traffic-monitoring companies.  comScore may have just helped them secure some bonuses by putting Google Maps ahead of MapQuest in terms of unique visitors.

Google Maps has been chasing – and catching up to – MapQuest for quite some time.  Last week, new numbers from Hitwise put the two almost neck and neck in January before MapQuest pulled away again.

Google Maps

But Greg Sterling wrote this weekend, "According to the numbers that I received (I’ve asked comScore to verify), MapQuest’s January monthly unique visitors were 41.5 million and Google’s were 42.2 million."  Sterling then got a graph today confirming the switch (and adjusting Google’s number of unique visitors upwards to 42.3 million).

So if you’re willing to accept comScore’s numbers (and if Google Maps doesn’t lose any ground), a rather significant change has taken place.  Consider the publicity factor: mapping is one thing that seems especially likely to put a company’s name in front of people.  Then there’s the business aspect consider, since a sort of snowball effect concerning Google Maps ads could occur.

Nielsen, Compete, and Alexa will no doubt weigh in on this issue at some point, though, and it’d be smart to remember that Hitwise already has February numbers showing MapQuest leaving Google Maps behind.