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Google’s Real Search Share 70 Percent?

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Nielsen//Netratings released its monthly search rankings report, putting Google on top again, controlling nearly 50 percent of all US searches. But as those that follow the industry have come to expect, every month that number conflicts with two other metrics firms, both of which conflict with webmaster statistics.

Google's Real Search Share 70 Percent?
How Much Of The Pie Does Google Hold?

If you follow these numbers every month, then you can probably predict them. Nielsen puts Google, with 3.1 billion queries handled last month at around 50 percent; comScore maybe in the low to mid forties; and Hitwise pegs the search giant as controlling around 60 percent.

This is a 20 percent differential webmasters are trying to reconcile, and as they do so feel it may be closer to a 30 percent gap in measurements.

For November, according to Nielsen, Yahoo continues its perpetual second place position with a share of 24 percent (typical flux from 19-25 percent). MSN/Windows Live dropped by 12 percent gathering up just 8.2 percent (the lowest yet, some analytics have placed them as high as 13 percent).

AOL is gaining, rising to 6.2 percent share. Ask.com and My Way Search share a total of 5 percent, and Dogpile is the last on the map, with just one percent. Earthlink, with less than 30 million queries, has a zero percent share, according to Nielsen, which is confusing, to say the least.

But Rich Skrenta, whom John Battelle says “has serious cred in the search world,” questions those numbers. According to his self-described “back-of-the-napkin” approach (meaning it’s a rough tally of the numbers), Google market share is probably closer to 70 percent.

Using Hitwise numbers, Skrenta’s own server logs, and Google Analytics, Skrenta compared traffic to apple.com, craigslist, ebay, flickr, nytimes, topix, tripadvisor, usatoday, wikipedia, and youtube. The average of those top sites revealed Google sending 70 percent of the search traffic they receive.

From Skrenta’s analysis:

The New York Times, for instance, gets nearly 6X as much traffic from Google as it does from Yahoo. Tripadvisor gets 8X as much traffic from Google vs. Yahoo.

Even Yahoo’s own sites are no different. While it receives a greater fraction of Yahoo search traffic than average, Yahoo’s own flickr service gets 2.4 times as much traffic from Google as it does from Yahoo.

My favorite example (not included in the above stats): According to Hitwise, Yahoo blogger Jeremy Zawodny gets 92% of his inbound search traffic from Google, and only 2.7% from Yahoo. :-)


On his blog, Battelle says what must be said: “referrals to major sites does not reflect the entire web of search usage…but is striking nonetheless.”

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  • http://www.moovinonup.com SEO Experts

    thats a big share will anyone be able to even challenge them microsoft buys yahoo is their only chance

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