You’d think that at some point, Google would have so much market share that it couldn’t possibly grow any further, but despite having a lock on the top spot, Google continues to claim a larger slice of the pie month after month. This time, Hitwise is reporting that Google now has 64% of the search engine market, up from 61% market share a year ago and up a point from last month. Live Search and Yahoo declined both from last month and last year, while Ask.com was up slightly.
Percentage of U.S. Searches Among Leading Search Engine Providers
Note: Data is based on four week rolling periods (ending Oct. 27, 2007, Sept. 29, 2007, Oct. 28, 2006) from the Hitwise sample of 10 million US Internet users.
* - includes executed searches on Live.com and MSN Search.
Om Malik writes that Google is prepared to launch a beta test of its video game advertising platform later this month, starting with Bunchball Games. The ads will be of the pre-roll and mid-roll variety, that is ads that run before the game starts and in middle of the game (perhaps between levels), 15-second video-type ads (presumably Flash animation). Next month, Google will offer a free downloadable game, Psychonauts, with 30-second video ads.
Google bought AdScape in February inorder to enter the growing game ad market, a year after Microsoft picked up Massive, a similar, but larger company. Google paid $23 million, while Microsoft paid $200-400 million for Massive, which would seem to indicate that Google got a bargain, but that would be deceiving. Google is running intrusive ads in casual Flash games, a growing but smaller industry compared to the product placement-type ads Microsoft works with in the multi-billion dollar PC and console video game industry.
I’ve played Microsoft’s Crackdown, in which billboards appear naturally throughout the game’s environment, and every time I saw a billboard with a Dodge ad, I just thought it was cool. If my loading screen was interrupted by a 30-second video ad for the same car, I’d get pissed off. Everyone likes free games, but to ignore the fact that these are different models with very different levels of customer reaction would require pretending an apple is an orange.
Google’s ads may be enough of an annoyance that players will pay just to remove them, and that’s not supposed to be the Google style. Google delivered ads are supposed to be unobtrusive and positive, and these ads are not. Perhaps they need to rethink the model, otherwise yet another principle of Google’s Founders Letter needs to be stricken from the record.
Our goal is to develop services that improve the lives of as many people as possible–to do things that matter. We make our services as widely available as we can by supporting over 97 languages and by providing most services for free. Advertising is our principal source of revenue, and the ads we provide are relevant and useful rather than intrusive and annoying. We strive to provide users with great commercial information.
Remember how Google stock brock $600 on October 8, and I said “Looks like Google might reach $700 in a year, maybe two”. Wow, was I wrong! It took GOOG just 23 days to surpass $700, a level it started yesterday at and never fell below, resulting in a market cap over $220 billion. If not for Microsoft’s huge increases lately, we’d be talking about Google’s chances at catching Microsoft and becoming the bigger tech company.
Look at what this does to my chart!
The old chart was so smooth:
Jeez, talk about your meteoric rises. Google stock’s milestones:
Google cracked $700 yesterday, 10.31.2007
It reached $600 on 10.8.2007.
IPO @ $100: 8.19.2004
In pre-market trading the stock was down $4-5, probably a lot of investors looking to lock in their profits.
Google is now the fifth-largest company in the U.S., beating out Proctor & Gamble, Bank of America and Citigroup in just the last few weeks. Up next: AT&T, $30 billion away, and Microsoft, $120 billion ahead.
Just so you know, in mid-2006, when Windows Vista was delayed again, Microsoft’s stock dipped low enough where it was worth less than Google is now. So it’s possible.
Just in case you aren’t reading InsideMicrosoft, you probably need to know that Microsoft beat Google in some tough negotiations for an investment in Facebook. Microsoft now owns a very small percentage of Facebook, and pretty much owns the right to sell ads on Facebook for the next four year.
Hitwise’s search market share stats for September, released last week, reveal that Google’s share slipped just slightly last month, falling from 63.98% to 63.55%. Yahoo slipped just about the same, MSN slipped about half of that, but Ask.com gained over eight-tenths of a percentage point, an over 20% jump for them.
Percentage of U.S. Searches Among Leading Search Engine Providers
Compete released a study on search quality, determining that Google users click on a search result 65% of the time, while Yahoo users click 75% of the time and Microsoft users click 59% of the time. Now, there are multiple reasons why a user will click, good and bad, so this doesn’t mean that Yahoo users get better results, but the stats do show siginificant differences between the engines.
Good reasons you don’t click a search result:
Universal Search/Ask3D type results give you the information right there on the page, eliminating the need to click elsewhere to get the information. Smart Answers will also do that. Yahoo has the least amount of this useful info, which could explain their high score.
Good search results and snippets - if an engine has the information right there in the snippet, again, users will not click a result, since they already have the answer.
Bad reason you don’t click:
Irrelevant results - Users get pissed off and give up, stop searching, or try a different search engine.
Secondary searches - Users refine their queries, or run second searches when the first one doesn’t have the specific information they’re looking for.
I know the Google/DoubleClick deal has just been assumed as an eventuality, but what if Microsoft actually succeeded at blocking it? What would be next for Google, and would DoubleClick survive all the upheaval intact? Right now, we’re mostly looking at sparring between the two companies, but if Microsoft f’s up Google’s megabillion dollar deal, it could be war.
UPDATE: Here’s Google’s David Drummond talking to Congress:
Om Malik reports that Google’s Marissa Mayer is saying Google Maps usage has shot up sharply since the iPhone was released in July, and hasn’t stopped rising. It appears the 1 million-plus iPhone users really like Maps, making it possibly the killer application for the phone. Hopefully Google will take this to heart and put more attention to the versions of Google Maps on other platforms.
While I like the version of Google Maps on my Windows Mobile phone, Google’s iPhone success shows that some better attention to detail, especially in the interface, as well as preloading agreements, can make a huge difference. Get Google Maps preloaded on a lot of phones, and you’ll probably see similar success.
ComScore’s latest numbers on the top websites in the United States are out, and Fox Interactive’s websites, including MySpace, still hold the top spot in pageviews, while Yahoo’s sites rule in unique visitors. Google fell to #4 in pageviews, falling behind Microsoft, which had larger gains in August, while Google is closing in on Yahoo in the unique visitor category and holding strongly onto its #2 ranking.
Nielsen/Netratings came out with its latest numbers on the most popular websites, dividing the numbers into two charts. On one, they list the top parent companies, that is the top entire audience served by a company across all its websites, domains and brands. On the other, they list the top brands, that is the biggest audiences under a single brand name. An example is that, on the first list, Google and YouTube are combined, while on the second, they are seperate, competing brands.
Google did well on both lists, but took first place on the brand list, with a 111 million person audience, beating Yahoo by 1.4 million users. Google’s YouTube also took eighth place, garnering 56 million users. On the company chart, Google made second place with 116 million, falling short of Microsoft by 1.1 million. In theory, this means YouTube’s 56 million audience ovelaps with Google’s in all but 5 million users, with 51 million in overlap.
Microsoft has sent out an email from a corporate spokesman listing the top ten concerns companies should have before switching to Google Apps (top ten? They trying to make Digg? It didn’t work). Mary Jo Foley was the first to print the list. Here is the list, along with my editorial comments:
“1. Google touts having enterprise level customers but how many “USERS” of their applications truly exist within the enterprise?
Not even sure what this question is asking. Are they saying that Google has customers, but those customers don’t use the product? Are they saying that Google’s customers are customers for publicity reasons, but that they don’t actually deploy Apps? Are they saying that companies sign up for Apps, but only use it for the portion of their employees that they deem not important enough to get copies of Office?
That last one is possible, and yesterday’s CapGemini announcement seemed to indicate as such. Microsoft could win a major battle on that point alone, that important people use Microsoft Office, while low-level clerks and lackeys are forced to use the inferior Google Apps. It makes Google Apps look like a punishment.
“2. Google has a history of releasing incomplete products, calling them beta software, and issuing updates on a “known only to Google” schedule – this flies in the face of what enterprises want and need in their technology partners – what is Google doing that indicates they are in lock step with customer needs?
Uh, Microsoft has a recent history of shipping late. Still, it’s a good point, but release schedules are more important if you are buying upgrades, not if you are paying for subscriptions. In a subscription market, you want to know when new features are coming, but you don’t pay more for them, so planning ahead isn’t as important.
“3. Google touts the low cost of their apps –not only price but the absence of need for hardware, storage or maintenance for Google Apps. BUT if GAPE is indeed a complement to MSFT Office, the costs actually become greater for a company as they now have two IT systems to run and manage and maintain. Doesn’t this result in increased complexity and increased costs?
This point is excellent and needs some explanation. Microsoft is saying that if you are running Office for some employees and Google Apps as a complement for other employees, then you are now running two seperate application platforms for the same purpose, and your cost saving may evaporate in the IT costs for running two system.
In addition, it’s worth pointing out again that the “complementary” system is a loser, admitting that Google Apps is not even trying to be the best. It also creates an upper and lower class of employees, and can cause a lot of problems as workers get pissed off at being stuck in the lower class.
“4. Google’s primary focus is on ad funded search. Their enterprise focus and now apps exist on the very fringe and in combination with other fringe services only account for 1% of the company’s revenue. What happens if Google executes poorly? Do they shut down given it will them in a minimal and short term way? Should customers trust that this won’t happen?
Good point. Google could just up and quit, realizing that Apps is going nowhere years from now. If they do, what happens to years of subscription fees, wasted away on software you don’t own? Companies could still now be running Office 95 or Office 97 because software is mostly forever, something that would not be possible with Google Apps.
“5. Google’s apps only work if an enterprise has no power users, employees are always online, enterprises haven’t built custom Office apps – doesn’t this equal a very small % of global information workers today? –On a feature comparison basis, it’s not surprising that Microsoft has a huge lead.
Again, Google Apps is being positioned as the office suite for people who don’t need power or features. Its a crappy marketing position, but its true, and both Google and Microsoft are using that to sell their side of the argument. Microsoft argues Apps is not good for power users, offline user, those who use the big features; while Google argues that Apps is good for those that only need occasional document tasks.
They’re both right. I’d like to argue that companies didn’t pay hundreds of dollars for Office because their employees used it for simple tasks, that they only bought it so their employees could use advanced features and be more productive, but that hasn’t always been the case. How many of you have an expensive desktop computer, Windows, Office, and play a lot of solitaire, write up a few memos, and add some numbers to a spreadsheet? More than Microsoft would like to admit.
“6. Google apps don’t have essential document creation features like support for headers, footers, tables of content, footnotes, etc. Additionally, while customers can collaborate on basic docs without the above noted features, to collaborate on detailed docs, a company must implement a two part process – work together on the basic doc, save it to Word or Excel and then send via email for final edits. Yes they have a $50 price tag, but with the inefficiencies created by just this one cycle, how much do GAPE really cost – and can you afford the fidelity loss?
Yes, Google’s Apps are missing features, features that if all the hype about Google and high-speed coding were true, Apps would already have them. I’d never use Apps for a document I intended on printing out, and it doesn’t look like they even care if it is used for desktop publishing. And Microsoft is right on one thing; any company editing in Apps, then finishing in Office is just being stupid, and should stick with Office for the entire workflow.
“7. Enterprise companies have to constantly think about government regulations and standards – while Google can store a lot of data for enterprises on Google servers, there is no easy to use, automated way for enterprises to regularly delete data, issue a legal hold for specific docs or bring copies into the corp. What happens if a company needs to respond to government regulations bodies? Google touts 99.9% uptime for their apps but what few people realize that promise is for Gmail only. Equally alarming is the definition Google has for “downtime” – ten consecutive minutes of downtime. What happens if throughout the day Google is down 7 minutes each hour? What does 7 minutes each hour for a full work day that cost an enterprise?
The first half is an oft-cited point, and a good one. Google needs to implement local backups, preferably through Google Gears. If they hype on Gears is to be believed, this could have been done in a simplistic fashion months ago. Google’s got a lot of hype it doesn’t deliver on, and that doesn’t make them trustworthy. Company-side backups for compliance is 100% necessary for many, and until it happens, those companies can’t consider Apps.
The second half is unrealistic. 7 minutes, every hour? Please. Users would shit a brick if that happened. Google needs a more solid uptime guarantee, but this doomsday scenario isn’t helping anyone.
“8. In the world of business, it is always on and always connected. As such, having access to technical support 24/7 is essential. If a company deploys Google Apps and there is a technical issue at 8pm PST, Sorry. Google’s tech support is open M-F 1AM-6PM PST – are these the new hours of global business? And if a customer’s “designated administrator” is not available (a requirement) does business just stop?
Where did Google get those hours? Ah, 1 AM Pacific is morning in the foreign call centers Google has probably employed. Glad to see Google going with outsourced foreign customer service, which as we all know has a great reputation.
Jeez, pay a little extra for Americans. You’ll win some happy customers that way, trust me.
“9. Google says that enterprise customers use only 10% of the features in today’s productivity applications which implies that EVERYONE needs the SAME 10% of the feature when in fact it is very clear that in each company there are specific roles people play that demands access to specific information – how does Google’s generic strategy address role specific needs?
Good point. I use a bunch of high quality charts and visual materials, other require mail merge and form controls, others are heavy into macros, others into PowerPoint madness, others into… You get the point. I don’t even know some of the roles Office users fall into, and that means a lot of people to satisfy. Microsoft Office has something for everyone, while Google is a lot more limited and specific. There are few things Google has that Microsoft doesn’t, and there’s a ton of stuff Office has that Apps can’t and won’t.
“10. With Google apps in perpetual beta and Google controlling when and if they rollout specific features and functionality, customers have minimal if any control over the timing of product rollouts and features – how do 1) I know how to strategically plan and train and 2) get the features and functionality I have specifically requested? How much money does not knowing cost?
This is pretty much question 2 all over again, but there is a good argument here. Microsoft’s Office development process has become a thing of beauty over the years, to the point that if Office’s development team where working on Google Apps, Apps would be able to kick Microsoft Office’s ass. Google’s been moving slowly, especially in an environment where new versions should be coming monthly, not every three years like Office, and the development of Apps doesn’t make it seem like we should have a lot of confidence in their ability to move fast, compete and innovate.
I don’t know how much I agree with Microsoft, but they’ve got the superior product from now and speak from a position of strength. It’s hard to side with Google on anything but potential, and enterprise customers don’t usually sign giant contracts on potential. What do you think? Is Microsoft ridiculous for taking this tactic? Is it ridiculous because they are so far ahead? Do you agree with them? Are they just being naive?
Interestingly, Microsoft isn’t the only one striking like this. Zimbra, another competitor, is sending out emails challenging Google and saying the limitations of Apps (again citing government regulatory compliance) make it a terrible choice for businesses.
Google translates Иван Грозный - Россия as “Abraham Lincoln - Russia”. Wikipedia’s article on ol’ Ivan spells Ivan Grozny (the term translated normally as Ivan The Terrible) as Ива́н Гро́зный. They are roughly identical, but Google may be getting tripped up on the lack of accent marks.
You can see how Google gains over five points, Yahoo loses 1.3 percentage points Microsoft loses one, Ask loses a third of a point and Time Warner gains a third. The new system counts the top five search sites, the top fifty sites with search technology (like MySpace), major search verticals (like eBay and Amazon), partner search sites, search tabs (Google News, Google Images), local search (maps), and searches on international portals.
A little under 1/6 of Google’s searches come from YouTube and other Google sites. Mapquest gets more searches than AOL Search. MySpace search counts for about 2.5% of the entire market, and should be counted under Google, since Google powers it. Craigslist and Amazon are just under 1% apiece.
IAC has dumped DoubleClick as the ad provider for many of its web properties, like CitySearch, Evite and Match.com. The future Google subsidiary was replaced by future Microsoft subsidiary Atlas, itself a division of aQuantive, the ad firm Microsoft is in the process of acquiring for a bajillion dollars. As Erick Schonfeld says, Barry Diller picked his poison, deciding that if they had to use a competitor, they should help Microsoft and not market juggernaut Google.
Seriously, IAC should buy a major online ad firm. Google did, Microsoft did, Yahoo did, and IAC could stand to do the same.
Danny Sullivan points out that both Google and Windows Live Search feature this photo of a raccoon attempting to subvert the laws of nature with a li’l dog:
So, what are search engines supposed to do? It’s a popular image for obvious reasons (it’s stupid), with probably a ton of places embedding it , so it’s only natural it would wind up making the image thumbnails that appear above search results, and there are a million examples of searches like this one. There really isn’t much to do since it is deserving based on the ranking algorithm, and it isn’t offensive, just silly. The SafeSearch filter would probably catch anything really bad, while the rest of us can enjoy our favorite woodland creature/house pet erotica.
Valleywag ran this photo of Anne Wojcicki hanging out with none other than Martha Stewart, as Anne’s husband, Google founder Sergey Brin, stands in the background. Megan McCarthy says they were showing Martha their recent wedding photos, but I hope later Sergey and Martha discussed plans to re-decorate the Googleplex. “Replace the giant rubber balls with potpourri!” Perhaps the happy couple could convince Martha to finally marry her tech legend boyfriend, Microsoft Word/Excel creator Charle Simonyi.
Last week, Fotolog, a photo blogging site, announced a deal with Google, under which Google will provide search and keyword advertising for the site. Turns out Fotolog is a pretty popular site, with 3.5 billion monthly page views, 15 million unique users, and is ranked 21st worldwide on Alexa. Based on similar recent deals (Facebook, MySpace), Silicon Alley Insider is estimating that Google guaranteed $200-250 million for Fotolog over the length of the deal, or $75 million per year.
So, on Alexa’s top 50 listing, Google owns or provides services for numbers 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 15, 20, 21, 24, 26, 27, 28, 32, 33, 35, 42, 48. Microsoft owns or provides services for 2, 5, 13, 16, and 31. Yahoo owns or provides services for 1, 17, 19, 38, and 40. Besides buying Wikipedia, there isn’t a site in the top 5 that isn’t owned by Google, Yahoo or Microsoft, or doesn’t sport a Google search box, except for Baidu.
You Gotta love the Webware 100 Awards. With ten winners per category, every multi-billion-dollar corporation can win multiple times, often in every category! Gee, it’s just like the Oscars!
Here’s what Google won:
Google Reader won in the Browsing category, Gmail won in the Communications category, Google won in the Data category, YouTube won in the Media category, GOOG-411 won in the Mobile category*, Gmail Mobile won in the Mobile category, Google Maps Mobile won in the Mobile category, Google AdWords/AdSense won in the Productivity and Commerce category, Google Calendar won in the Productivity and Commerce category, Google Docs won in the Productivity and Commerce category, Blogger, won in the Publishing category, Feedburner in the Publishing category, Google Analytics won in the Publishing category, and Google Maps won in the reference category.
My Yahoo - Browsing; Yahoo Mail - Communication, Yahoo Messenger - Communications; Yahoo Search - Data; Flickr - Media; Yahoo Video - Media; Yahoo OneSearch - Mobile; Yahoo Maps - Reference.
Internet Explorer - Browsing; Windows Live Hotmail - Communications; Windows Live Messenger - Communications; Windows Live Search - Data; TellMe - Mobile; Microsoft Office Live - Productivity and Commerce; Silverlight - Publishing; Microsoft Virtual Earch - Reference.
Everyone else makes an appearance, and in most categories, every major player is a winner. I love award shows where everyone wins. It’s like those Little Leagues where everyone gets a trophy and no one learns to be an adult.
(via The Google Analytics Blog)
* - cough, bullshit, cough. It’s a brand new service, and unless it feeds the homeless, it deserves nothing yet. Category filler.