free html hit counter Didja Know....Updated - John Battelle's Search Blog

Didja Know….Updated

By - December 05, 2005

Ebay…that eBay processes as many searches a month as Google (around 2 billion, they claim)? Yup, it’s true. For more, see this investor presentation, page 18 (pdf download). I met with Greg Isaacs late last week, and that was one of many fascinating things I learned. Greg runs the eBay Developer’s Program. I’ll have more to say about that at a future point…

UPDATE: A good source notes that Google is doing WAY MORE searches than eBay’s reported 2 billion a month. I tend to agree (the last reported number I heard from sources at Google was 250 million a day – and that was two years ago. That’d be – er – around 7.5 billion a month – again, two years ago). But given that Google refuses to disclose real numbers, this all remains in the realm of speculation…


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11 thoughts on “Didja Know….Updated

  1. WebTodd says:

    Amazing… so why isn’t their search more sophisticated?

  2. John K says:

    2B a month is not even close to true for Google.

    I absolutely agree with your UPDATE. Even comScore reports that Google is doing 2B US Searches a month, and I think that is off by an order of magnitude. I don’t understand how people even can think that the comScore number is useful.

    I wrote about this a while back on my blog:
    http://gotads.blogspot.com/2005/11/how-many-searches-does-google-really.html

    BTW, didja also know that the ebay API is serving 2B requests a month (according to Adam Trachtenberg)

    These days, 2B is just not that much.

  3. Milan says:

    Hi John.

    I am hugely interested in the world of search and very much enjoyed reading your book. In it, I read the same comment about the most recent number you knew of being 250 million searches per day.

    At a newsstand about a month ago, I noticed a glossy publication that prominently featured the Google logo. I didn’t check, but it looked like it may have been authored by the company itself. The magazine dealt exclusively with Google; it outlined all of the company’s offerings and activities, and it also included a “hockey stick” type of graph illustrating the number of searches per day over time from 1997 or ’98 through to the middle of this year. I believe that the number quoted on the graph for mid-year 2005 was 2,317 million searches per day, an order of magnitude above the 250 million figure.

    If I see the same booklet on the newsstand again, I will have another look.

  4. Milan says:

    The following link actually has a picture of the cover of the magazine I just mentioned…

    http://www.populationstatistic.com/archives/2005/11/13/google-the-magazine/

  5. I was in shock at first to read that eBay was doing as many searchers as Google, it’s good to see the update. That’s still pretty amazing that eBay processes that many searches a month. I’d be curious to see how that compares to Y!, MSN, and Ask.

    You wouldn’t happen to have any idea would you?

    It sounds like eBay is planning something with all those searches, I’m curious to see what. I’ll stay tuned in for more info.

  6. bala says:

    There is big difference between ebay & google search. Ebay search is related to its own database, google search is related to crawled and page ranked database. Lets do not compare apples with oranges!!

    -Bala

  7. Nell says:

    I believe ebay claims that they claim to perform as many *commercial* (as in commerce related) searches per month as google – they might not make that clear in the slides, but they often make the distinction in spoken part of presentations. So with that being said, anyone know how many commercial searches per month google is doing and whether it is a fair comparison?

  8. Milan says:

    I tracked down the magazine that I mentioned in a couple of my previous posts. It relies on John’s book as source material for much of its backstory about Google, so maybe John already knows about it.

    Anyway, the graph that I had mentioned does indeed indicate that Google was processing 2.317 billion searches per day in May of this year, for a total of about 70 billion per month. The cited sources are Neilsen/NetRatings and Searchenginewatch.com. I have placed a copy of the graph online at http://www.pageyandthebrin.com/googlesearchesperday.jpg

  9. flyboy,seo says:

    You always have to remember that even Google admits that a sizeable number of their searches are done by people that do not understand how a browser works. Mom & Pop repeatedly use the Google search box instead of the Browser address bar to look up websites.

    I found out that people are actually taught in libraries across the country to put the URL in Google to get to the website. I don’t know how many times I’ve created websites for clients only to have them tell me it’s not on the internet (because it’s not listed by Google yet)

    If you take into account all these individuals that return to Google every time they want to look up the next website URL, you start to understand how inaccurate the statistics really are.

    If you’re a SEM you also start to understand how easy it is to capture the attention of the full subscription base for any magazine / business that has an online presence. ;)

  10. Mark Johnson says:

    Though I never trust numbers from Alexa, but they’re good for a general order of magnitude gut-check. So, Alexa says that Google gets ~200M visitors a day. Even assuming that the average visitor does only 1 search, Google does far more than 2B searches/month. I suspect that the average number of searches per user is much higher, though I can’t find a number.

    A more accurate way to calculte might be to look at Google’s revenue in Q3 ’05. Divide their Q3 number by 3 (for months) and then divide by 9 cents per search and you should come up with a reasonable estimate: about 5.8B searches/month.

    Jeez, this is sounding like an interview question . . . “How would you estimate the number of searches that Google does a month?”

  11. Sam says:

    Nell is right. eBay claims to have as many “product” or “ecommerce” searches as Google. Any estimates on what % of Google’s searches are ecommerce searches?