On Friday, comScore announced that Google retained its lead in the U.S. core search market capturing 61.5 percent of the searches conducted in June 2008. By and large, the press coverage focused on the fact that Google's share of core searches was down slightly from May, while Yahoo! and Microsoft's share of core searches were up slightly from the previous month.
But, farther down the comScore press release was data on the "expanded search queries" for June. This includes the top properties where search activity is observed -- like YouTube. And here's what comScore qSearch 2.0 found:
-- 7.3 billion expanded search queries were conducted at Google in June;
-- 2.5 billion expanded search queries were conducted at Yahoo that month;
-- 2.3 billion expanded search queries were conducted at YouTube and other Google sites;
-- 1.1 billion expanded search queries were conducted at MSN-Windows Live.
And the month to month growth of expanded search queries at YouTube was 15%, while it was 8% at Yahoo!
So, let the countdown begin. How many months do you think it will take before YouTube passes Yahoo!?
According to comScore Video Metrix, 82.2 million viewers watched 4.1 billion videos in May on YouTube.com -- that's an average of 50.4 videos per viewer. It's also worth noting that YouTube.com accounts for more than 98 percent of all videos viewed at Google Sites, whic
h means that Google Video is now round off error.
Okay, to be fair, expanded searches includes ones for mapping and local directories as well as user-generated video sites. So, YouTube and Google Maps are being combined in the comScore data.
Nevertheless, the media world still seems focused on core searches, which doesn't count about 5.1 billion expanded searches a month.
So, it's important to remember that vertical search engines are ... search engines, too. And getting found in all the right places increasingly means optimizing video for YouTube as well as web pages for Google, Yahoo! Search and Live Search.