free html hit counter The Monday Signal - John Battelle's Search Blog

The Monday Signal

By - January 25, 2010

Quite a weekend in marketing land, with a blast from Jason C. directed at Comscore. Sunday’s feeds were alive with responses (I think this summary from TheNextWeb is a good place to start), but it boils down to this: Jason fired off an angry shot at a easy target, but with a bit more nuance, one can see that this is not a simple issue. If it were as black and white as he lays it out, Comscore would have been out of business a long time ago. Measurement is not as easy as most folks think it is, and Google Analytics has trained nearly everyone to think they have more people coming to their sites than they really do. Certainly, Comscore will probably learn from this tempest and possibly change its tactics. But the company has a right to charge for its services, the market will decide if its approach makes sense. (Caveat: FM – and its partners – are Comscore customers).

Meanwhile, Comscore reported global search market trends for 2009. Money shot: The total worldwide search market boasted more than 131 billion searches conducted by people age 15 or older from home and work locations in December 2009, representing a 46-percent increase in the past year. This number represents more than 4 billion searches per day, 175 million per hour, and 29 million per minute. The U.S. represented the largest individual search market in the world with 22.7 billion searches, or approximately 17 percent of searches conducted globally. China ranked second with 13.3 billion searches…(makes one think about Google’s China decision, no?).

I found this NYT post on “controlled serendipity” worthy reading, it furthers a working thesis I have about how the social web is changing search, in particular discovery of content. While the premise is a bit shopworn (we’re all both creators and consumers of content!), it’s nevertheless true.

Other links:

Digg to Undergo Drastic Overhaul (Mashable)

Twitter Launches Location-Based Trending Topics (Mashable)

How Google Ranks Tweets (TechReview)

Death Of TV One Step Closer — YouTube Signs Live Sports Broadcasting Deal (BusinessInsider)

Factery Labs’ New Fact Engine: Just What Real-Time Search Needs (SEL)

Reaching Out to Conversationalists (AdAge/Forrestor)

App Usage to Soar in 2010 (eMarketer)

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5 thoughts on “The Monday Signal

  1. Shan says:

    I agree that we now obtain a lot of info/links from our social contacts, however there’s a catch. Back in the old days, there were only a few sites and you knew where to look for info. Then came yahoo (directory) which became a meta site for the same list. It had the added advantage that you could find more sites on a topic which you never knew. All this has proven to be unscalable by Google.

    In social-media land, I believe the same will happen. We now _know_ who we’re following. Pretty soon, we’ll be following brands (most already are!) and news sources they know. This approach will become unmanageable and unscalable soon. How and when, we don’t know yet.

  2. “Google Analytics has trained nearly everyone to think they have more people coming to their sites than they really do…”

    SLOW DOWN there, Cowboy!

    Google Analytics (and other Javascript-based 3rd party analytics tools) UNDER reports traffic by as much as 30%.

    Heck, Google Analytics can’t even report an accurate referral when it comes from a forum because they strip off the parameters that tell you which forum, which thread, which post, etc.

    ComScore is as lousy an analytics service as they come — so, too, are all the others. They all suck equally.

  3. Annette says:

    I agree with Michael Martinez.You can`t trust Google Analytics.
    I use the service thru Statcounter and the can`t give the exact visitor count and track the visitors right.

  4. John Lee says:

    Google Analytics works fine check page views per day and analyze the flow of average of your visitor in a week.

  5. janetti ! says:

    ‘Controlled Serendipity’ – great article. Search is evolving bc it has to with the plethora of social media, blog, and twitter noise out there. All people are not creators of content – many are simply regurgitating info so they seem more interesting or intelligent than they are. Where’s the analysis, right? Where’s the true resource?

    Signal vs. noise – I like where you took this. Thanks.