Search Engine Market Share: Who has what?

Search Engine Market Share:

Okay, I’ve got to tackle this one now. I’ve been an online user since 1988 (yup, pre graphics and Mosaic etc…all the way back to Lynx and text-based only browsing) and from what I’ve learned in my online professional life, almost anything can be spun when it comes to marketshare stats.

So, what’s prompted this?

The usual online forum rants/queries/povs that show that for the most part there is NO one, definitive set of stats that shows the real truth when it comes to search engine marketshares.

We’ve had a hell of a year, eh, search engine wise. Google has added/modified/messed-things-up with many many new rollouts and then there’s the whoel BING/Yahoo merge and yet for the most part, we’ve NOT seen a single modification in our own analytics when it comes to marketshare for same. Sure, minor variations and some of course are seasonal as some of our clients are big in some seasons, but the real numbers coming to us (them) has remained pretty static. So…your question is, whose marketshare stats do we agree with when comparing our own numbers with the big two out there, Chitika and comScore?

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First, comScore, the large global network management firm that keeps it’s own records ie audience measurement on lots of items, but here we’re looking at their se marketshare stats. They release monthly reports and here’s the into to their July 2010 report –

“With the July 2010 qSearch data release, comScore will now be reporting “Explicit Core Search” results alongside its standard “Total Core Search” results in order to provide transparency around the impact of contextually driven searches.”

Note for me here that the recorded Google share is 66% or so, with the Yahoo/Bing totalling about 27%. That’s what they said their qSearch analysis software determined for July 2010.

So….I look at my own analytics for our client rosters and find that those % numbers are NOT close to what we show…we show Google being up at about 77% and the Yahoo/Bing totals at about 14%…so their marketshare numbers and ours — don’t match!

Next, let’s look at Chitika, the  full-service on-line advertising network serving over 3 billion monthly impressions across more than 100,000 websites. Founded by folks who actually worked at a previously big search engine (Lycos), Chitika serves business by providing online advertising…not that we use same in our own SEO campaigns. Here’ s the Chitika July 2010 stats as reported –

“July is over, and we have stats: in looking at the full month’s traffic, Google remains unassailable in its #1 spot although the Microhoo combination of Bing and Yahoo! continues to slowly erode Google’s market share.  Yahoo!’s market share rose 1.22% from June, ending at 6.14% of all traffic sent into the Chitika network, while Bing’s share declined 0.7% to 10.56%.  Google lost just over half a percent, posting a July market share of 80.97%. AOL and Ask continue to jockey for 4th place with 1.22% and 1.12% of the search market, respectively…”

As you can see, they report stats that are drastically different from comScores….which I suppose is what got me interested in the se marketshare topic initially. This firm is involved with over 100,000 sites by being able to analyze that number of websites traffic thru their own network. Searches on the major search engines then come right to them as the HTTP_referrer….and in my mind, there ain’t NO better way to track incomings than using that item.

So, point is, how do these numbers reflect on our own analytics? Close, is my answer…much closer as they have Google pegged at 81% and we show them at 77% — and they show the combined Yahoo/Bing numbers at 17% and we show 14%.  In online stats…that’s about spot-on…

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