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Matt Cutts Responds To Hitwise

Matt Cutts doesn't believe Hitwise, either

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Whether or not Bing’s search results are more accurate than Google’s isn’t up for discussion here.  Aside from the inherent sampling errors when comparing the actions of either group — a 65 percent market share and a 27 percent market share are not equal sample sizes, leading to large amounts of variability — Hitwise’s conclusion seemed more like wishful thinking.

Matt Cutts Talks About Google's Lastest Web Spam EffortsAnd now, the Googler Supreme, Matt Cutts, has thrown his two cents into the fray.  Needless to say, he didn’t agree with Hitwise’s “conclusion” either. 

In his Google Buzz post, Cutts asks:

Are you able to determine whether the user clicked on a search result vs. just left the search engine to go to another site? There’s a difference between an abandoned search and clicking on a search result, but both result in the user searching and then going to a different site. By Hitwise’s definition, wouldn’t doing a query on Bing and then going to Google or Yahoo count as a "successful search" on Bing?

Not only that, but when asked, Hitwise couldn’t even define what they considered a successful search:

Hitwise later confirmed to me that they don’t know whether the user actually clicked on a search result or just went to a completely unrelated site. Given all that, I’m surprised to see Hitwise is still pushing this metric and still calling it "search success rate."

So here comes Hitwise, armed with incomplete data that’s rife with variability biases, and they can’t even define what they consider a successful search engine query?  If that’s the case, their entire “Bing is more accurate than Google” thesis should be thrown out the window.

Now, this is not an attack on Bing.  If you use Microsoft’s search engine and you like the results it gives, more power to you.  That doesn’t mean, however, Hitwise should be given a free pass when they deliver erroneous conclusions that ignore each engine’s market share.

Are Bing’s results more accurate than Google’s?  I really don’t know and without extensive, side-by-side comparisons of numerous queries performed by equal-sized groups, neither do the rest of us.

Ultimately, it all comes down to preference.

Matt Cutts Responds To Hitwise


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  • http://forum.smobot.com SMObot

    How does Hitwise gather and mine their data? If it’s via a toolbar sampling pool, they very well could track user clicks on search engine results. Do they? is the question.

    Not to beat a dead horse, but browsers have the functionality built in.

    Like this:

    Google SERP source code has the top 10 links ranked. Toolbar reads those rankings. If the next page the user lands on matches any one of those results, which browser addons can scan, the inference can be made that the user has clicked on a search result to land on a given page… not terribly complicated.

    If Hitwise is making the simple assumption that going from the search engine results to another webpage equates to a click-through, then we have a false, but statistically measurable false assumptions.

  • http://www.seo-theory.com/ Michael Martinez

    “Successful search” is too complex a term to be used for measuring search market share. “Exit to non-search destination” would be better.

    However, Hitwise’ current metric is far better than the obsolete page views (number of queries performed) metric because it at least distinguishes between queries that result in users leaving the search site and queries that keep people on the search site.

    Google is NOT acting as a search service by scraping the answers to weather queries from other sites and offering that data to people who are searching for it. They are for intents and purposes acting as publishers in such queries.

  • http://www.easydestination.net Max

    I don’t know why author of this article is so furious over the research of hitwise. Why weren’t you so fired up when Google made false copy claims on Bing. Clearly a website sponsored by Google.

  • Daniel

    hello ,
    My name is daniel and I own nigerian forum
    I’m an ardent reader of your posts and not just to leave leave without writing a comment this time around, I love the informations you share through this post especially where you wrote ” And now, the Googler Supreme, Matt Cutts, has thrown his two cents into the fray. Needless to say, he didn’t agree with Hitwise’s “conclusion” either. ”
    Keep it up friend.

Matt Cutts Responds To Hitwise

Matt Cutts doesn't believe Hitwise, either

Get the WebProNews Newsletter:


[ Search]

Whether or not Bing’s search results are more accurate than Google’s isn’t up for discussion here.  Aside from the inherent sampling errors when comparing the actions of either group — a 65 percent market share and a 27 percent market share are not equal sample sizes, leading to large amounts of variability — Hitwise’s conclusion seemed more like wishful thinking.

Matt Cutts Talks About Google's Lastest Web Spam EffortsAnd now, the Googler Supreme, Matt Cutts, has thrown his two cents into the fray.  Needless to say, he didn’t agree with Hitwise’s “conclusion” either. 

In his Google Buzz post, Cutts asks:

Are you able to determine whether the user clicked on a search result vs. just left the search engine to go to another site? There’s a difference between an abandoned search and clicking on a search result, but both result in the user searching and then going to a different site. By Hitwise’s definition, wouldn’t doing a query on Bing and then going to Google or Yahoo count as a "successful search" on Bing?

Not only that, but when asked, Hitwise couldn’t even define what they considered a successful search:

Hitwise later confirmed to me that they don’t know whether the user actually clicked on a search result or just went to a completely unrelated site. Given all that, I’m surprised to see Hitwise is still pushing this metric and still calling it "search success rate."

So here comes Hitwise, armed with incomplete data that’s rife with variability biases, and they can’t even define what they consider a successful search engine query?  If that’s the case, their entire “Bing is more accurate than Google” thesis should be thrown out the window.

Now, this is not an attack on Bing.  If you use Microsoft’s search engine and you like the results it gives, more power to you.  That doesn’t mean, however, Hitwise should be given a free pass when they deliver erroneous conclusions that ignore each engine’s market share.

Are Bing’s results more accurate than Google’s?  I really don’t know and without extensive, side-by-side comparisons of numerous queries performed by equal-sized groups, neither do the rest of us.

Ultimately, it all comes down to preference.

Matt Cutts Responds To Hitwise
Comments Off


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Matt Cutts Responds To Hitwise

Matt Cutts doesn't believe Hitwise, either

Get the WebProNews Newsletter:


[ Search]

Whether or not Bing’s search results are more accurate than Google’s isn’t up for discussion here.  Aside from the inherent sampling errors when comparing the actions of either group — a 65 percent market share and a 27 percent market share are not equal sample sizes, leading to large amounts of variability — Hitwise’s conclusion seemed more like wishful thinking.

Matt Cutts Talks About Google's Lastest Web Spam EffortsAnd now, the Googler Supreme, Matt Cutts, has thrown his two cents into the fray.  Needless to say, he didn’t agree with Hitwise’s “conclusion” either. 

In his Google Buzz post, Cutts asks:

Are you able to determine whether the user clicked on a search result vs. just left the search engine to go to another site? There’s a difference between an abandoned search and clicking on a search result, but both result in the user searching and then going to a different site. By Hitwise’s definition, wouldn’t doing a query on Bing and then going to Google or Yahoo count as a "successful search" on Bing?

Not only that, but when asked, Hitwise couldn’t even define what they considered a successful search:

Hitwise later confirmed to me that they don’t know whether the user actually clicked on a search result or just went to a completely unrelated site. Given all that, I’m surprised to see Hitwise is still pushing this metric and still calling it "search success rate."

So here comes Hitwise, armed with incomplete data that’s rife with variability biases, and they can’t even define what they consider a successful search engine query?  If that’s the case, their entire “Bing is more accurate than Google” thesis should be thrown out the window.

Now, this is not an attack on Bing.  If you use Microsoft’s search engine and you like the results it gives, more power to you.  That doesn’t mean, however, Hitwise should be given a free pass when they deliver erroneous conclusions that ignore each engine’s market share.

Are Bing’s results more accurate than Google’s?  I really don’t know and without extensive, side-by-side comparisons of numerous queries performed by equal-sized groups, neither do the rest of us.

Ultimately, it all comes down to preference.

Matt Cutts Responds To Hitwise
Comments Off


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