Hitwise uses a combination of anonymous web surfing data provided by ISPs in various countries and its own panel-based measurements to determine which sites are most popular on the web. The data encompasses the surfing activities of 25 million people, worldwide.
The chart below shows the share of all visits made to both search and directory sites, as classified by Hitwise, by US web surfers during May 2005. “Domain” shows the core domain of the service involved.
|7||My Web Search||www.mywebsearch.com||
Understanding Share Of Visits
Hitwise measures all visits to sites that it classifies as being search engines or portals. It then tells you what percentage of those total visits a particular web site received.
To understand more, here’s a simplified example. Imagine there are only three web surfers being measured in a particular month. They make the following visits to sites considered to be search engines or portals:
- Surfer A: 9 Google visits, 5 to Yahoo, 3 to MSN: 17 total visits
- Surfer B: 5 Google visits, 6 to Yahoo, 8 to MSN: 19 total visits
- Surfer C: 8 Google visits, 9 to Yahoo, 7 to MSN: 24 total visits
Add up all the visits, and you get 60 in total. Then add up the visits that each search engine or portal receives, divide that by the total visits for the category, and you know that site’s share of total search and portal visits:
- Google: 22 visits / 60 total visits = 37% share
- Yahoo: 20 visits / 60 total visits = 33% share
- MSN: 18 visits / 60 total visits = 30% share
The chart below shows which portal sites, as classified by Hitwise, have the greatest percentage of visits to their home pages by US web surfers. Portals obviously offer more than search. A visit to Yahoo’s home page may be someone checking news headlines, a stock portfolio or email. However, portals with high home page usage are likely to also generate searches from those pages.
|6||Dell My Way||dell.myway.com||
|10||DellNet by MSN||dellnet.msn.com||
Hitwise Search Term Data
The same information Hitwise mines to understand web site popularity also lets it compile its own database of the search terms people perform on particular search engines, or to reach web sites in certain industries or just the terms used to find a single web site. Visit the page above to see examples of this.
Past Hitwise Search Engine Ratings
This page shows past search engine ratings from Media Metrix that were featured on Search Engine Watch since September 2003. Only available to Search Engine Watch members. Click here to learn more about becoming a member.
Search Engine Ratings & Reviews
See this page for other Search Engine Watch pages that provide figures on search engine popularity in the United States and around the world.