Similar to the comScore data I just posted, the latest Hitwise stats show Google was the most popular
search engine in the US, in July 2005. Our Hitwise Search Engines Ratings page is now updated with full
details. Google’s had noticeable gains over the past three months, as has AOL. Most others have generally had tiny declines — small enough that they are essentially static.
Hitwise also is offering its new Hitwise US Online Search Report (free upon request) that’s chock
full of stats for those interested in the search landscape. It’s not always Google tops, as you look across the diverse range of search activities that happen. The report is
highly recommended reading. Some highlights:
- Google Dominant: The report has top search engines for the week of July 23, 2005, based on share of visits. Similar to what our Hitwise stats posted show, Google is
top ranked, with more than double the share of its closest competitor, Yahoo.
- Image Search Grows: The report says Google Image Search nearly doubled and Yahoo Image Search more than doubled traffic when comparing the week of July 23, 2005 to
the same period in 2004.
- Google’s Share Growing: Based on share of actual searches, Google is reported to have grown from 51.9 percent in July 2004 to 59.2 percent in July 2005. Over the
same period, Yahoo and MSN saw decreases.
- Shopping Top Downstream Destination: Across the board, people head to shopping and classified sites more than any other types, after doing a search. Entertainment
and Business & Finances are also popular categories.
- Portals Power Search: Yahoo and MSN are shown to get a significant number of searches from those who start out on their portal pages (FYI, a slight skew here in my
opinion. Many searching from www.yahoo.com may not consider themselves starting from the "portal" home page since for most people, that does double-duty as the main Yahoo
search page despite the existance of search.yahoo.com).
- Insight Into Driving Network Traffic: The report notes that Yahoo manages to drive 8 percent of searches back into its own network. Google drives 7 percent of its
traffic to Google-related sites, with Google Images the top destination among these, getting 5 percent of the share.
- Yahoo Local Greater Than Google Local: Yahoo’s local search had four times the visits of Google’s local search, though Google’s service has grown 61 percent over
the past six months. Local searchers are also slightly more likely to be female.
- Yahoo & Ask Local For Maps: Yahoo and Ask were found to be driving most traffic to their map sites, while Google was driving traffic to a range of sources,
including Yahoo and SuperPages.
- Query Terms: Queries are generally one to two words long except for Ask, where its history of encouraging users to ask questions generates queries typically three
or more words in length.
- Top Queries: Navigational terms rule on the search engines, with top queries often those for sites such as eBay or Mapquest. Top term on Yahoo and MSN? The name of
their chief rival — Google! Ask is notable for not having its top list be dominated by navigational queries.
Google’s got the highest number of visitors with incomes over $100,000.