Is Google a Habit or the Best Search Option?
I just got back from the SES San Jose show. Good show. It was interesting to see the search world’s “Murderer’s Row” (relax …. it’s a reference to the 1927 New York Yankees batting lineup and not something offensive …. relax) consisting of Google, bing and Yahoo all lined up in the front row of the exhibit hall. Interesting, of course, because you have to wonder what the messages will sound like once the Microhoo co-joining finalizes sometime in the distant future. For now it’s a lot of talk of business as usual etc. etc.
So what is business as usual? SearchEngineLand takes a look at some new comScore data that tries to put some definition to that idea. The comScore report tells us that Google searchers are more loyal but that also begs the question: Is it loyalty or habit? For me personally, I just use Google out of habit but it’s not one that I feel is harmful to me so don’t plan any search interventions on my behalf. Maybe it’s best described as comfort but underneath all of it is the fact that the results are what matter and I have had no truly compelling reason to make a switch at this point. So am I a Google user by habit or choice? I suppose a little of both. One thing I am though is loyal and that is the area that the Microhoo search effort will need excel in if it is to make a dent in Google’s dominance.
The data below shows that the loyalty of Google searchers far outperforms that of the combined scores of Yahoo and Microsoft as they stand currently.
When looking at search share Google is still comfortably out in the lead as comScore notes
In June 2009, Google Sites had a 65.0 percent share of searches in the U.S. core search market, compared to 28.0 percent for Yahoo Sites (19.6 percent) and Microsoft Sites (8.4 percent) combined. Despite lagging considerably in terms of overall search share, the combined searcher penetration of Yahoo! and Microsoft was 73.3 percent, not far behind Google at 84.0 percent. The source of the discrepancy between search share and searcher penetration is that searchers on Google conducted significantly more searches on average in a month (54.5) than did searchers on Yahoo and Microsoft (26.9).
So here we are in the land of numbers but simple observation says it is pretty much a foregone conclusion that Google is still Google and the likelihood of unseating them is, well, pretty unlikely. No matter how people get to Google or why they stay with it, they have a search dominance factor of “a lot’ according to the completely unscientific and not even close to fully thought out Frank Reed Search Index Study of the Moment. I honestly don’t run into people that use Yahoo or bing as their primary search engine. On the rare occasion I do these people often have an anti-Google stance (like those who would use anything other than Microsoft even if it caused them personal harm) which may just be more about emotion than rational thought.
So is Google your habit or your choice? If you use another option tell us why. I need some feedback since my ultra scientific study of one has an overwhelming Google weighting.