Monday, June 25, 2007

Are People Quitting Google in Droves? Time will tell

After pondering aloud in my last post about consumer attitudes to Google I did a little digging and found this on the "browser blog" at Fortune.com:

Google corners nearly two-thirds of US search market

The latest search market share numbers are in from Hitwise: in the four weeks ended March 31st, Google (GOOG) racked up fully 64.13% of all US searches. That’s up more than 10% since March 2006, and, if trends hold, Google’s share will pass the two thirds mark by August. In the same period, Yahoo (YHOO), Microsoft (MSFT), and Ask (IACI) all lost share. As the old Wall Street hands like to say: “Liquidity begets liquidity.”

Clearly, this is not good news for the search also rans, particularly as it covers a period when all of them made major and costly improvements to their search engines. Ask.com for example, rolled out an impressive local search service in 2006 and also greatly improved its image searching, and yet its share declined nearly a half a point, to a fragile 3.48%, in the course of the year.

Conventional wisdom has long held that Google is vulnerable to vertical attacks, i.e. search engines that carve out category niches. The new Hitwise data suggests, however, that Google is actually gaining influence in valuable verticals...

That post was dated April 11 and Google was at 64.8% by June according to the blog at Hitwise, readable here. I will keep watching these two sites to see if there is any evidence of a prviacy-fear induced slowdown in Google growth. If Google does not pass the 2/3 mark by August, look for Privacy International to claim some credit.
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