Posted August 17, 2009 9:24 am by with 9 comments

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If we all based trends on one month’s data, from a single research company, we would have been out of the longest recession in 80 years already. Instead, economists know that we need to see a trend that covers many months, with many data points pointing the same way.

I’m not an economist, but even I can grasp that Nielsen’s data–showing Google losing market share to Yahoo–should be viewed as an outlier, until we see an ongoing trend.

The data in question shows Google losing 1.3% in search share from June to July, while Yahoo picked up about 0.8% of that share.

Here’s June:

And here’s July:

Perhaps one of the most intriguing stats is that Google actually grew its search audience from 6.6 million to 6.8 million. That’s hardly a decline–at least the last time I checked. So, rather than saying that Google has lost market share to Yahoo, perhaps it’s more accurate to say that 500,000+ new searches were conducted in July, with Yahoo doing a better job of attracting them than Google.

A better job, based on existing market share that is. Break those numbers down further and you’ll see that Google picked up about 198k new searches, with Yahoo just behind with 176k.

  • The part of the article in reference to Google’s search volume actually increasing overall really illustrates the way that statistics can be manipulated and misused to supposedly “prove” one side of an argument vs. another. Those who want to “prove” that Yahoo! is gaining steam use only the “Google’s % of searches went down…” data, while the data as a whole doesn’t support the contention that fewer searches were done using Google – which is what those making the argument would want you to believe.

    It emphasizes the importance of using numbers and statistics as puzzle pieces and only once those pieces are fit together properly can we really see the whole picture. Otherwise we’re just falling victim to an intellectual illusion similar to the magic tricks performed by street magicians in Vegas. Never forget that what they don’t want you to see would ruin the illusion.
    .-= Alysson´s last blog ..Choosing The Website Audit That Is Best For YOUR Needs =-.

  • @Alysson – nicely said! 🙂

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  • It’s bogus data anyway, following an obsolete metric that is only relevant to people who want to purchase run-of-network advertising on the search services.

  • I don’t think google will be too concerned, they are still really dominant and they are working on improving google from what i’ve seen lately!

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  • One day it has to happen, we all knew. Yahoo gonna pickup…. Well but still Google will be my best search engine…

  • Once the broadband becomes universal, Google will be dominating the world.

    just wait, Google will swipe all the search companies.
    .-= aery´s last blog ..Simple Trick to Remove Advertisements or Sponsored Links from Gmail =-.

  • No, google didn’t lose searches to yahoo.
    Simple math: google search on june 6.611.079, google search on july 6.809.116.
    There is an increase of 198,037