free html hit counter Interesting Data - John Battelle's Search Blog

Interesting Data

By - August 30, 2004

searchsharemajestic.jpgI’ve been reviewing a lot of data lately for a chapter in the book I’m calling “Who What Where Why When, How, and How Much.” (OK, it’s a working title.) And the folks at Majestic Research, who do investment-related analysis of the internet space based on data from Comscore and many other sources, have been particularly helpful. They’ve agreed to let me lay some of it on you, which is quite kind. Here’s some of their findings in the search space – it’s pretty interesting. The data is based on Comscore’s tracking methodology.

* More than 80 percent of all searches on the internet are based on 4 or less search terms. The average search term is three words.
* Total number of paid search clicks trended flat to marginally up in Q2.
* Average Price Per Click on Google and Yahoo has trended slightly down over the past two quarters.
* Across the Google Network in Q1 of this year, approximately 50% of results included a sponsored ad, and 53% of all searches resulted in a click of some kind. Of those, 13% were a sponsored click. For Overture, the numbers were 36%, 66%, and 14%. Net net, Overture had more sponsored clicks (about 160mm) compared to Google’s roughly 135mm.
* MSN was one of Overture’s highest performing network partners in Q1. One wonders how MSN’s recent moves to clean up its act will change this.
* For Q2, about 73% of bids on Overture were for less than 20 cents. Ag. PPC however is hovering at 41 cents.
*Worldwide, Google received 28 searches per searcher while Yahoo received 18.5 searches per searcher in June. Within the US, Google received 23.5 searches per searcher while Yahoo received 19.5.

Thanks, Seth and Gian…..


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8 thoughts on “Interesting Data

  1. Wow, queries are up to 3 words now, huh? Interesting.

    I remember being shocked at how many one word queries I used to see doing log analysis. I’m not saying how many, of course, but there were a ton of them.

    Thanks for the tidbits.

  2. That market share graph is certainly interesting. Google is flat at about 48%, while Yahoo has grown from 26 to 31-32% — solid 20% growth.

    It’s also interesting that foreign searchers use Google more per month than US searchers. There’s some variation in language support for the different engines — for instance, Google news has no CJK support. I wonder how it works out country-by-country.

  3. Hello John,

    We appreciate the data.

    1) Overture once released data on the breakdown in percentages of number of words searched. Question is – is there a correlation between spenders and the higher words used in their searches. Higher word counts means a) they want exact search b) mature internet user.

    2) It shouldn’t surprise us that users utilize Google more than Yahoo for serches. Considering that Yahoo pulls in traffic via its other products/features – their numbers might really be equal.

  4. Pavan Lee says:

    In the Search Marketing Metrics Guide published by Marketing Sherpa, the google clicks on paid vs. orginaic search was close to 30%:70%. It seems there is an obvious change on this. Is there any particular reason for it?

  5. Good point, Pavan. I’m inclined to believe the MarketingSherpa study number, as they’ve been corroborated by iProspect/Clickz and other sources.

    Anyone care to venture what might be the limits to accuracy of Comscore data as relates to paid search?

  6. Timboy says:

    “The average search term is three words.”

    This seems like a case where the difference between average and median probably matters. If the average is three, are we averaging in the occasional 20-word query?

    I’d be really surprised if either the median or the mode is as high as three…

  7. Google News just added CJK support today, FWIW.

  8. Sam says:

    I learned about your “blog” today on CNBC. I am naturally curious so I went to your web site and inputted a four-letter acronym that is an organization about which I have heard 3rd hand scuttlebutte. I was surprised but interested when your search had a positive result. I naturally went to that reference at your web site, but I cannot find any reference to NAIC, the organization that I search for. Please help and I promise to become more adept at my “blogging.”