I've been sitting on some very interesting numbers on Google from last week because I was waiting for the right time to publish them. Well, true-believers, today is the day.
According to a press release by comScore, Google increased its share of the U.S. Search market in April. Approximately 43% of all U.S. searches were performed on Google, followed by Yahoo at 28%, MSN at 12.9%, and then AOL at 6.9%.
What was very interesting by the numbers is that everyone but Google saw a decrease in % of search activity. Also, isn't it interesting that a powerhouse like MSN looks like they seceded search to Yahoo and Google? I know that is not a newsflash but it still really jumps out of the page when you see the numbers again. Personally, I like their overhaul of their search platform and they should see an increase as people become more accustomed to the relaunched product. Plus, they moved almost all of their search activity from Yahoo a few weeks back.
The final interesting point from comScore is that there were 6.6 billion searches conducted in the US for the month of April. That's a TON of activity and according to the study it grew by 4%.
Last week, Hitwise reported some very interesting numbers on Google's product line, and you know what, it really is still all about search for them. In a post called Google Properties - Understanding The Breakdown, Bill Tancer took a look at the top 20 Google domains. The table reprinted to the right shows that if you just look at search and image search, you get about 90% of all of Google's traffic and if you take a look at the top 4 by throwing in Mail and News, you are looking at 96.5% of all activity!!! Notice that Google Finance which I wrote about the day it launched is WAYYYY down on the list at #17.
I'm a big fan of Google and I love some of the new products, but this is starting to look like a typical product line extension - or is it? One thing I remember from my product marketing sessions at AT&T is that the further you move from your core product offering, the less likely you are to find something that resonates. Couple this with a post at Google's official blog called Google's 20% in Action actually sheds a little light on why you'd have this extension. This 20% rule allows Google Engineers to spend 1 day out of every 5 working on projects that are not necessarily in their job description. With so many engineers working on the "next" thing, it keeps Google on the cutting edge of search technology.
What does this mean to you? With 6 billion monthly searches and the number growing month over month, how do you not get in on the game? Plus, if you are in the game, you need to have buys on Google, Yahoo, and MSN in that order of priority. The other search activity can be picked up by one of the big three.
Another key point raised in the Forrester Finance Forum today (yes I know I keep pointing them out) is that a lot of product research in the financial services category begins with search. My guess is that a lot of other product research starts with search too; hence the increasing demand. The Google product extension which can provide a lot of utility, keeps Google on the cutting edge and assuming that they don't get too distracted, means that they are still the MVP of Search and best positioned to take advantage of the increases in activity. If you are not there, you really are nowhere. Google's only weakness seems to be in community search, but that's for another blog.
BTW - Google should call their product line extension GoogleX!!!!