Google Still Dominates Search

    August 12, 2011

Water’s wet, sky’s blue, and Google is still king of the search engine industry. So much so, in fact, the amount of search queries conducted on Google more than double Yahoo and Bing (one and the same now?) their combined output.

In the latest study from Experian Hitwise, Google’s position as top search engine dog was confirmed in black and white with the following quote:

Google accounted for 66.05 percent of all U.S. searches conducted in the four weeks ending July 30, 2011. The combined Bing-powered search comprised 28.05 percent of searches for the month, with Yahoo! Search and Bing receiving 14.49 percent and 13.19 percent, respectively.

The remainder of search engine industry, which Experian states is at 73 engines, only account for less than six percent of all Internet searches.

Again, considering Google’s financial success, this news should come as no surprise, although, the spin Experian offers is perfect example of twisting statistics to fit a theme. Take the following for instance:

Yahoo! Search and Bing achieved the highest success rates in July 2011. This means that for Yahoo! Search, more than 81.36 percent of searches executed resulted in a visit to a Website. Google achieved a success rate of 68 percent, an increase of 1 percent in July 2011. The share of unsuccessful searches highlights the opportunity for both the search engines and marketers to evaluate the search engine result pages to ensure that searchers are finding relevant information.

That’s all fine and good for Bing/Yahoo, but when you consider the sheer number of Google’s search volume compared to Bing/Yahoo, it stands to less successful searches were conducted. Once again, the sample size in the statistics need to be considered. Smaller sample sizes lead to higher degrees of variability, something stated quite clear in Wikipedia’s entry concerning Sample size determination:

Larger sample sizes generally lead to increased precision when estimating unknown parameters.

With less people using Bing/Yahoo, but more clicking over to sites, in order to make this a little more reliable, the same amount of Google users would have to use Bing/Yahoo. If the site-visiting results were similar, then you’d be onto something.

As it stands, sorry International Business Times, the findings about site click-overs comes across as meaningless, as well as skirting the “correlation does not imply causation” territory as well.