Kaushal Kurapati\’s blog

Thoughts on Search, Technology and Management

Archive for the ‘Search’ Category

Search Engine Market Share: January, February 2008

Posted by kaushalkurapati on March 10, 2008

Compete.com blog post on February 2008 Search engine market share is interesting. Google touches 70% market share. Yahoo! drops to ~16%. Microsoft, half of Yahoo!, at 8.4%. Ask.com is less than half of Microsoft, at 3.7%, and AOL is half of Ask.com at 1.8%. In terms of query volume growth, Google has grown queries by 50% y-o-y! (almost 4B –> 6B). Yahoo! did not have any query growth y-o-y (1.3B). Microsoft had 12% query growth. Ask.com had huge query growth (55%; 200M to 310M). AOL also showed a big 45% query growth y-o-y (100M -> 150M).

Comscore data for January 2008 paints a slightly different picture, although relative positions/trends hold up. Total # of searches conducted at ‘core’ engines in January 2008 was 10.5B.

  • Google: 58.5% (6.1B queries; matches roughly with Compete’s numbers)
  • Yahoo!: 22.2% (2.3B queries; this is vastly higher than Compete’s numbers at 1.3B – big discrepancy. Must be in the way various services count things)
  • Microsoft: 9.8% (1B queries)
  • AOL network: 4.9% (510M queries)
  • ASK network: 4.5% (475M queries)

Other notable sites with major query volumes include eBay (460M/month), craigslist (250M), Amazon (160M), MySpace (375M), and Facebook (100M).


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Search Engine Market Share: June 2007

Posted by kaushalkurapati on August 10, 2007

comScore released June 2007 Search engine market share stats few weeks ago. Google dropped a touch month/month to 49.5%. Yahoo also dropped 1% point to 25%. Microsoft notched up an impressive 3% points to 13%. Ask.com held steady at 5% and AOL dropped further to 4%. Microsoft’s gain was purely because they were offering free games to people who searched on MSN Live. Its doubtful that these queries represent ‘real’ traffic; those searches would probably not monetize well anyway, not that MSN is looking for that incremental revenue of course. So with traditional measurement metrics while it appears like MSN has gained, its not due to any improvements in the site or the engine itself.

  • Total searches in the month: 8B (up 6% month/month and 26% year/year).
  • Google handled 4B searches (50%)
  • Yahoo handled 2B searches (25%)
  • Microsoft handled 1.1B searches (13%)
  • Ask network handled 400M searches (5%) – breaching 400M for first time
  • AOL handled 340M searches (4%)

Compete reports slightly different numbers for Google & Ask: For July 2007 Google comes in at 66% – 4.8B queries; Yahoo at 20% – 1.44B queries; Microsoft at 10% – 744M queries; Ask.com at 3.3% – 244M queries. Compete must be including AOL under the Google column, which is fair. Not sure what else is counted under Google to make it 66% (counting Google.com only & AOL makes it 50 + 5 = 55%). Also # of queries on the Ask network may not be counted appropriately in this data set: the discrepancy b/w 244M queries reported here and 400M reported by comScore is huge.

Posted in Data, Search, Stats | 2 Comments »

Search Engine Market Share: May 2007

Posted by kaushalkurapati on June 23, 2007

comScore released May 2007 search engine market share stats: Google crosses 50% market share–as per comScore–for first time. Everyone else decline marginally or stay flat.

  • Total searches in May 2007: 7.6B (up 11% y/y and 4% over previous month)
  • Google: 50.7% share (3.9B queries)
  • Yahoo: 26.4% share (2B queries)
  • MSN: 10.3% share (782M queries)
  • Ask: 5% share (384M queries)
  • AOL: 4.6% share (348M queries)

Nielsen figures have been different. Trends in Google hold up though. Ask and AOL swap places in Nielsen figures. Per Nielsen Google has 56% share, Yahoo 22%, MSN 8%, AOL 5%, Ask 2% (excluding some network searches I think).

According to HitWise, Google accounted for 65% of all US searches in a 4-week period in May 2007. Yahoo stood at 21%, MSN 8.4%, and Ask 4%.

Yahoo & MSN stats are quite close in Hitwise and Nielsen measurements (21% and 8% respectively) — their comScore numbers are not far either (26% and 10%). Ask is also in the 4-5% range per Hitwise and comScore (the 2% reported by Nielsen is due to exclusion of Ask’s network searches I believe). Only Google numbers vary a lot across various measurement systems. Differences could be due to sampling methodology, and the way searches / queries are counted, etc.

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Mobile Web & Search Usage in US

Posted by kaushalkurapati on May 25, 2007

30% of mobile users in the US access the web from their mobile phones, according to a study by iCrossing. US cell phone subscriber base is about ~230 million (www.ctia.org). So folks accessing the web from the mobile are ~69Million, which is significant. According to the study, half of these access the web several times a week. A majority of those who access the web from theri mobile devices, 75%, conduct searches. They mainly use GYMA search engines, reflecting their PC-search choices.

Local info, weather, maps/directions form majority of the queries. Interestingly, about 85% of these mobile-web users expect mobile versions of the web sites they visit. This implies that there is a high incentive to create mobile versions of web sites.

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Search Engine Market Share: April 2007

Posted by kaushalkurapati on May 25, 2007

comScore just released Search Engine market share data for April 2007. Google inches to ~50% of the market. Yahoo, MSFT, Ask, and AOL together account for 47%. Total searches conducted in April 2007 were 7.3B, unchanged from March, but 11% up year/year.

  • Google – 49.7% share (3.6B searches)
  • Yahoo – 26.8% share (2B searches)
  • MSFT – 10.3% share (757 million searches)
  • Ask – 5.1% share (376 million searches)
  • AOL – 5% share (364 million searches)

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Mobile Search User Behavior

Posted by kaushalkurapati on May 7, 2007

Google mobile search user behavior analysis was published in this interesting paper. Some key behavioral findings were as follows:

  • Average number of words per query were roughly same b/w mobile & regular searches: roughly 2.3 words/query.
  • Surprisingly 17% of queries the authors looked at were URLs. The number is much much lower (1-2%) for regular search logs.
  • Top categories: in cellphone based searches, “adult” was the top category (>20% of searches); Entertainment (>10%), Internet & Telecom (>5%), Local Services (5%) and Games (>2%) round out the top-5. The interpretation was that since a cellphone is considered a very private device, people look for more adult content than a computer, which may be used by multiple people.
  • Top categories in PDA-based searches differed: local services (>15%) was the most preferred category due to probably the profile of the user–business users. Entertainment, Computers & Technology, Internet& Telecom, Travel, Adult, and Sports each account for ~5% of queries.
  • Query distribution: the top-1000 queries on cell phone based search accounted for 22% of all queries, whereas it was 6% for regular search. This shows that cell based search has less variety in queries currently.
  • Number of queries/session in mobile was 1.6 whereas it was b/w 2 and 3 in regular search. It takes about a minute for a user to enter a query in mobile search! This fatigue could be the reason for searching less, but being specific (same # words/query in mobile as regular search) at the same time.
  • About 32% of consecutive searches are the same; 29% of consecutive searches are refinements of original query; 14% are spellcheck triggers. So the remaining 25% are not on the same topic. This suggests that mobile search is very focussed and is not exploratory in nature.

Summary: mobile searches roughly have same # of words/query as regular search; number of queries per session is much less than regular search; people often focus their searches and explore less while mobile. It currently takes too long to input search queries, which may be limiting the # of queries/session.

Posted in Internet, Mobile, Search | Leave a Comment »

Search Engine Market Share: January 2007

Posted by kaushalkurapati on February 24, 2007

comScore released US search engine market share statistics for January 2007:

  • Google: – 47.5% (3.3B searches); 1xG
  • Yahoo: – 28.1% (1.9B searches); 0.59xG
  • MSN: – 10.6% (733M searches); 0.22xG
  • Ask.com: – 5.2% (361M searches); 0.11xG
  • AOL:  – 5% (342M searches); 0.105xG

A total of 6.9 billion searches were conducted in January 2007 (up 2% over December 2006). This represents a healthy 26% growth in query volume year-over-year.

A different perpective on search market share is offered here.

US Internet audience size is 175M. In terms of unique visitors to respective network sites, here is the breakdown: Yahoo sites (#1 129M), AOL (#2, 117M), MSN (#3, 115M), Google (#4, 113M), Ask.com (#8, 49M).

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Search Engine Marketing in India

Posted by kaushalkurapati on January 18, 2007

Pinstorm in association with IAMAI (Internet and Mobile Association of India) has prepared a very interesting report on the state of search engine marketing in India. Some interesting stuff from it, along with my own analysis:

  • They consider Indian companies spending in India and Overseas companies spending in India — so companies (Indian or otherwise) targeting Indians.
  • They essentially ‘sampled’ extensively and inferred search volume, ad-coverage, depth of advertiser market, average ad-spend, etc.
  • 1Billion searches in a month in India vs. 6.7 Billion searches in the US in December 2006. That number seems fairly high at first glance given that PC penetration is much lower in India compared to the US. On the other hand, see this — 37M Internet users in India (Sep 2006) vs. 250M Internet users in the US: ratio of 6.75:1. That ratio mirrors the search volume ratio exactly! (6.7 billion to 1 billion).
  • According to the report the number of advertisers targeting Indians is around 40,000. Thats a good size in itself, and will grow rapidly depending on (a) more users getting on to the Internet (larger target audience), and (b) more vernacular content and India-specific content coming online (more ad-sense shelf space so to speak).
  • US online ad market is roughly $10bn in 2006. Indian online ad-market, according to this report, is $52M — 0.5% of the US market. 
  • So who are the top spenders currently? Naukri (jobs), 99 acres (real estate), jeevansathi (online matrimonials – match making). Top categories? Banking / Financial services, Automotive, Matrimonial — all wanting to sell services to Internet savvy Indians (hence you may be making a certain amount).

Posted in India, Search | Leave a Comment »

Search Engine Market Share: December 2006

Posted by kaushalkurapati on January 18, 2007

comScore networks released December 2006 search engine market share data and it shakes out as follows:

  • Google – 47.3% (3.2 billion queries) – 1x G
  • Yahoo – 28.5% (1.9 billion queries)  – 0.6x G
  • MSN – 10.5% (713 million queries)  – 0.22x G
  • Ask.com – 5.4% (363 million queries) – 0.11x G
  • AOL – 4.9% (335 million queries) – 0.10x G

Search volume is growing 30% year-over-year. It was up 1% for December 2006 over November same year. I am a bit surprised that it was not up more in December, over November. I would’ve assumed that travel and online shopping should’ve driven more searches. On the other hand, may be niche travel and shopping engines are probably taking most of that growth rather than general purpose engines. Also, what may have balanced the uptick in shopping and travel searches, is a lull in school / work related search activity owing to vacations and such. The yearly search volume growth (30%) is healthy though. It would be nice to see a break up of the key search categories that are gaining in that incremental 30%. Some of the top ones may be as follows: Local, Health, Travel, Shopping, Reference, Sports and Entertainment. The usual suspects I suppose.

For more on the search market’s winners and losers see Danny Sullivan’s post at  Search Engine Land.

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Rhyme Rank

Posted by kaushalkurapati on April 1, 2006

Check out the new technology called Rhyme Rank from Ask.com released today (April 1 2006).

Type in any query and get rhyming related search suggestions on the right side of the reply page! Pretty neat. Try Corn. Or try the product name Zoom itself.

Posted in Search | Leave a Comment »