Google Gains Search Ground

Google gained ground in its dominance of the US explicit and total core search markets in September 2010, according to monthly comScore qSearch analysis.

Google Takes Larger Share of Explicit Core Search
Google Sites held 66.1% of the US explicit core search market (which measures user engagement with a search service with the intent to retrieve search results) in September 2010, up 1% from 65.4% in August 2010.

Second-ranked Yahoo Sites lost 4% of its explicit core search market share, dropping from 17.4% to 16.7%. No other explicit core search provider experienced significant month-over-month fluctuation.

More Explicit Core Search Queries Performed via Google, Microsoft
More than 16 billion explicit core searches were conducted in September 2010, up 2% from 15.7 billion the previous month. Google Sites ranked first with 10.6 billion searches, up 3% from 10.2 billion searches; followed by Yahoo Sites in second with 2.7 billion, down 2% from slightly more than that total the previous month.

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Microsoft Sites came in third with 1.8 billion explicit core searches, up 3% from 1.7 billion.

Google Also Grows Total Core Search Share
Google Sites accounted for 63% of total US core search queries conducted in August 2010, up 4% from a 60.5% share the previous month. Yahoo Sites followed with 19%, down 9.5% from 21% the previous month, and Microsoft Sites came in third with 12.5%, down about 2% from 12.8% in August 2010.

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Google Sites Jumps in Total Core Search Queries
The total number of core search queries performed via Google Sites jumped 8%, from 10.2 billion to 11.1 billion. Meanwhile, second place Yahoo Sites lost 5%, dropping from 3.6 billion to 3.4 billion. Third place Microsoft Sites increased its total number of core search queries 2%, from 2.16 billion to 2.2 billion.

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Total US core search queries grew 4% in September 2010, rising from 16.9 billion in August 2010 to 17.7 billion.

March 2010 Search Rankings Change Little from February

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Americans’ usage preference for online search engines changed little between February and March 2010, according to The Nielsen Company.

Google Search Maintains Dominance
Google Search maintained its comfortable lead in search engine usage during March 2010, with 6.39 billion searches, or 65.7% of 9.72 billion total searches. Yahoo Search came in a distant second with 1.3 billion searches, or 13.4% of the total. MSN/Windows Live/Bing Search followed with 1.2 billion searches, or 12.2% of the total.

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No other search engine had a search total in the billions or double-digit market share. AOL Search, the fourth-most-popular search engine for the month, accounted for 245.8 million searches, 2.5% of the total. Total searches increased 5.8% from 9.18 billion in February 2010, which is likely at least partly due to the additional three days in March.

February 2010 Numbers Were Similar
Google Search led all search providers in February 2010 with a 65.2% search share, or about 5.98 billion searches, according to previous Nielsen rankings. Yahoo Search came in second with a 14.1% search share, or about 1.29 billion searches. MSN/WindowsLive/Bing followed with 12.5% search share, or 1.14 billion searches. AOL Search, the fourth-most-popular provider last month, had a 2.3% share, or about 207 million searches.

MSN/WindowsLive/Bing experienced approximately 15% growth in its share of US searches in February 2010, increasing from a 10.9% share and 1.12 billion searches. March 2010 figures indicate this growth has at least temporarily stalled.

comScore Results also Similar
comScore’s core search rankings use different metrics than Nielsen’s search rankings, but produced similar results in March 2010. There was little change in comScore’s market share statistics of the five leading US online search providers between February and March 2010. Google Sites led the core search market with 65.1% market share, down from 65.5%. Yahoo Sites slightly rose from 16.8% to 16.9% market share. Microsoft Sites also grew slightly from 11.5% to 11.7% market share. Ask Network and AOL LLC Network’s market share rankings remained virtually unchanged in the low single digits.

Google Page Indexing Creates Leads

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Getting your site ranked highly on search engines is one of the fundamentals of SEO, just how you go about that is a topic which creates a lot of discussion, which method works best, and is off page optimisation more effective than on page optimisation, and how valuable are links or votes that are directed to your site from other web sites on the net.

I’ve always worked on the premise that I get as many of these factors working for me when optimising a site and a very effective tool to get high rankings is relevancy to the subject you’re trying to rank for. Getting as many of your URL’s or pages indexed by the search engines can lead to an increase in both traffic and conversions. So I thought this research from HubSpot would be of interest to you.

The more pages a company has indexed by Google, the more leads it will generate, according to research by internet marketing firm Hubspot.

Incremental Indexed Pages Can Cause Double-digit Lead Growth
There is a strong positive correlation between the number of Google indexed pages and median leads. An incremental increase of 50-100 pages indexed by Google can cause lead growth in double-digit percentages. For example, going from 60-120 indexed pages to 121-175 indexed pages can increase a company’s median leads from seven to 12, creating 58.3% growth.

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The most significant improvement in median lead growth comes when a company increases its indexed pages from the 176-310 range to the 311-plus range. Median leads skyrocket from 22 to 74, representing triple-digit 236% growth. After exceeding the 311 indexed pages mark, median lead growth subsides.

Size Not Critical Factor
Overall, Hubspot research indicates that size is not a critical factor for achieving significant volumes of Google indexed pages. Size and number of pages are mildly positively correlated, mostly in the extreme categories of indexed pages.

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While HubSpot’s large customers formed the biggest group with 311 or more indexed pages in Google, small and medium-sized customers together outnumbered large ones in this category, 57% – 43%. In addition, small customers formed the largest group with 176 to 310 Google indexed pages (39%).

As might be expected, small customers do form the largest group within the less than 60 (53%) and 61-120 (54%) indexed pages categories.

Marketing Takeaways
Hubspot advises marketers considering a Google page indexing program to use the following techniques:

  • Build page volume: Consider starting a blog to quickly increase the number of indexed pages.
  • Improve each page’s optimization as per Google’s methodology to maximize chances of having all corporate web pages included in the index.
  • On-page search engine optimization: Place keywords in the right places on web pages such that Google and other search engines know what each page of a company’s web site is about, and what keywords to rank it for.
  • Off-page search engine optimization: Build inbound links from reputable sites, thus demonstrating a company’s popularity to search engines.
  • Inbound links do not generate more leads, but do generate more unique visitors.

Google Dominates Core Search
Google Sites clearly dominate US internet users’ core search activities, according to comScore. In March 2010, Google Sites led the core search market with 65.1% market share and 10.05 billion core searches, up 6% from February 2010. Both of these statistics represent the continuation of long-term core search trends.