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August 20, 2007

New scorekeeper, same score: Google dominates Internet search

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano at 1:29 PM

The regular monthly report from comScore on search share is covered by bloggers, journalists, analysts and others following the battle among Google, Yahoo and Microsoft for Internet supremacy.

Last month, Microsoft touted a slight bump in its portion of the pie. This month, the news is that comScore is changing the way it keeps score to better account for the fact that search is "becoming a more ubiquitous activity across the Web." The result of this new method?

The score remains the same: Google, lots of search share. Yahoo, some search share. Microsoft, a little share. The other two, not much search share at all.

Now, comScore is gathering more data on searches, including:

-- Major "vertical" search locations -- such as eBay and Amazon.com in retail and Expedia in travel.

-- Partner Search -- searches initiated at partner sites that redirect the visitor to a search engine site.

-- Cross-Channel Search -- counts multiple searches when employing more than one search tab (e.g. Web, images, news) for a single search term.

-- Local Search -- maps, directions, and local directory listings.

-- Worldwide Search -- includes comprehensive reporting of worldwide search, with individual country reporting for the U.S., Canada, Mexico, U.K., France, Germany, Japan, China, and Korea. Additional countries will follow.

But this richer data set -- its new qSearch 2.0 interface -- will only provide that level of detail to people who pay for it. Makes sense. The rest of us can enjoy a slightly expanded -- and thankfully, comparable -- monthly report in much the same way we have.

The difference, comScore says, is that its monthly "core search" figures "now include the partner searches and cross-channel searches in the total for each property." But it's still comparable, they assure us.

So, by the numbers:

Google had 5.5 billion July searches, 55.2 percent of the total, and up 64.3 percent from a year ago. Yahoo had 2.3 billion, 23.5 percent of the total, and up 8.3 percent. Microsoft had 1.2 billion, 12.3 percent, and up 35.6 percent from last year.

By the way, the total search market -- we're talking U.S. searches performed from home, work or a university -- were up 37.6 percent. That means Google, even with a much larger base than its competitors, is growing faster than the market as a whole.

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Tricia Duryee
Tricia Duryee
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Angel Gonzalez
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Kristi Heim
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Benjamin J. Romano
Benjamin J. Romano
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