Google’s 11-Month Run Comes to an End
Newly released ComScore data reveals that Google’s U.S. market share dropped one percent during July, officially ending its consecutive 11-month run of search share gain. Aww. Does this mean Google is on the decline? Should users start abandoning ship? Is Yahoo! about to take over the search world? What’s that? The sky’s falling?
Don’t be ridiculous. While the news may be getting a lot of hype, in actuality it means very little. This isn’t a tipping point and it’s not the start of something greater. Andy Beal compares it to a truck running over a possum. I like that analogy, but I think even that is giving into the sensationalism just a little bit. I’d call it a field mouse.
Even after the “drop”, Google accounts for 43.7 percent of all searches. Yahoo!, its highest ranking competitor, accounts for 28.5 percent. [MSN and Ask.com had slight increases, bringing them to 12.8 percent and 5.4 percent, respectively.] Overall, I’d say Google has some breathing room.
Instead of tracking Google month-to-month, we’d encourage the number-obsessed to look long term. If Google continues to see one percent drops over the next six to twelve months, then we might have something to talk about. Until then, we got nothing.
When it comes to search, Google is king, and deservedly so. They have one wickedly powerful search engine. Add to that their recent deal with MySpace, their loyal partnership with Firefox and all their other ventures and you see Google is going nowhere.
A moderator over at WMW disagrees and says the drop is indicative that Google’s competitors are gaining speed.
“The quality of the competition’s products – especially search – are developing apace and I think Googke [sic] is trying to diversify in so many different ways at once that they might start to lose the hearts and minds battle.”
Gaining? Maybe. But gaining at the kind of speed required for Google to be worried? Likely not. Yahoo!’s still trying to capitalize off Google’s press to jumpstart its own marketing campaign, Ask.com was recently found inferior by multiple sources and MSN is just starting to pick itself up from the bootstraps (though we like where they’re headed).
I’d agree that the three smaller engines are gaining speed and making improvements (kudos, boys!), but no one is doing anything to give Google cause for panic. Not yet, anyway.
People like to call searchers fickle, and Eric Schmidt has publicly stated that searchers are just “one click away” from their competition; however, I’d be inclined to disagree. I think in most cases searchers pick a favorite and stay there. Especially when the “favorite” is leaps and bounds ahead of the competition, which frankly, Google is. Even people who force themselves to switch are left unhappy a week later. Google looks to be in pretty solid shape, if you ask me.
As usual, Danny has an exceptional rundown of these numbers and what they mean (and don’t mean) over at SEW.