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Friday, February 3, 2023

Hitwise: Slight Google Rise In February 2007

Search popularity stats for last month are coming out once again, and I’m
diving in with the latest figures from Hitwise.
They show Google had a slight rise over the previous month, mainly at the loss
of Microsoft Live. The month-to-month figures are below, along with the long
term trend for all the major players.

The stats below are for January 2007 and February 2007, showing the
percentage of searches each service handled, based on all the searches estimated
to have happened within the United States:

Search Engine
Jan.
2007

Feb.
2007

Change
Google
63.1%

63.9%

0.8%
Yahoo
21.4%

21.5%

0.1%
Live
10.0%

8.8%

-1.1%
Ask
3.5%

3.5%

0.0%
AOL
0.5%

0.5%

-0.1%
Others
1.5%

1.8%

0.3%

As you can see, Google had the greatest gain — almost a full percentage.
Most of that came off share that Live.com gave up.

Hitwise stats come from data it purchases from ISPs (yes, your ISP does sell
traffic data — see here
and here for more).

Rival ratings firm Compete also uses ISP traffic data for its ratings. And
earlier this month, it

reported
a somewhat opposite story. Microsoft’s Live was said to have
“increased a full point” in February 2007 its share of searches in the United
States. Google also was said to have gone up.

Ratings services rarely agree perfectly, and I’m still waiting until we get
February figures from NetRatings and
comScore before trying to decide if
Microsoft was up or down. However, Compete seems to overstate the Microsoft
gain.

If you

go back
to the January 2007 figures from Compete, shares were given to one
decimal point, like this:

  • Google: 61.7%
  • Yahoo: 23.1%
  • Live: 8.5%
  • Ask: 3.6%
  • AOL: 1.7%

In Compete’s latest report, the figures for January 2007 were rounded to the
nearest decimal point. For Live, that caused it to be rounded DOWN to 8.0
percent in January 2007. As a result, it jumped much higher compared to February
2007. Consider the chart below:

Month

1/07

2/07

Diff

Live: Not Rounded

8.5%

9.0%

0.5%

Live Rounded

8.0%

9.0%

1.0%

You can see the unrounded figure shows Live having a half percent rise.
Actually, it might be less than this, since the 9.0 percent figure in February
2007 almost certainly is rounded UP. If it was rounded up from something like
8.6 percent, then the gain is much less than a full percentage point.

Month-to-month changes are interesting, but here’s
again my standard
caveat:

Look for long-term trends. You want to view stats for several months
in a row, not two isolated months compared to each other. Stats can and will
plunge from one month to the next for all types of reasons, not the least due
to a ratings service itself having some counting glitch. Similarly, comparing
back from one month to the same time the previous year might not reflect
counting changes that may have happened or been refined over that time. I want
a trend line — and a long one.

So how about that long-term trend? According to Hitwise, it’s Google
continuing to rise, Yahoo holding steady and Microsoft continuing its slow
losses.

As I said, figures from Hitwise and comScore should be along soon. When they
are, I’ll report on those and then take an across the board review.


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