Rich Skrenta, founder of Topix.net, wrote a blog today "Google's true search market share is 70%". A prominent Yahoo blogger, Jeremy Zawodny, confirms that he gets 92% of his inbound traffic from Google, and less than 3% from Yahoo. Traffic to my blog from Google runs consistently around 75%. Yesterday traffic to my blog broke out as follows; 69.5% from Google, 1% Yahoo, 1% MSN, 10% links from other bloggers, and 18% links from my own blog to other posts.
Search referrals are different than number of searches performed. Rich, Jeremy, and I are measuring search referrals to our sites, versus market share for the number of total searches performed. You have to ask yourself, how important are searches that didn't lead to a referral? Meaning, the searcher didn't actually click on a result.
ComScore says search market share for October 2006 was: Google 45%, Yahoo 28%, MSN Live 12%, Ask 6%, AOL 5%, and Other 4%.
Hitwise says search market share for November 2006 was: Google 62%, Yahoo 22%, MSN/Live 10%, Ask 4%, and Other 2%.
Danny Sullivan, the search guru who now runs SearchEngineLand says "On average (comScore, NetRatings & Hitwise for October 2006), Google has a 52 percent share. But he's still dead on target that if you talk to site owners, Google drives a far higher percentage than the share of searches happening. It's more like 70 to 90- something for them."
Rich Skrenta says "Sitting here in Palo Alto, running a web business, it's pretty clear who the winner of the search game is. But every month I have to suffer through reading about Google's supposed 40-something percent market share. Everybody involved in the search industry and everyone who actually runs a website knows these numbers are completely wrong."
Skrenta looked at 10 popular web sites and measured inbound search traffic links using Hitwise data. He included his own site, Topix.net, so that he could calibrate the Hitwise data to his own server logs and Google Analytics reports. His analysis proves Hitwise is pretty accurate. Here is a table of results from Rich's blog;
Who do you believe? You know all the jokes about statistics. My guess is all the numbers are correct...it is just the definitions and parameters are different. Search referral is different than number of searches. It seems logical to me that people searching for technical topics covered in blogs have a different profile, and perhaps use different search engines, than people searching for popular themes.
What is your experience? What do the traffic logs from your blog or web site say? What are your normal search habits?