An interesting juxtaposition of opinions this weekend, showing how two persons can look at the same stats and draw almost-opposite conclusions:
At the New York Times (link here), Miguel Helft claims that Bing! really doesn’t have far to go to catch Google, now that Microsoft has inked a deal for Bing! to be the engine for Yahoo searches, if Bing! and Yahool stats are viewed as a single entity. A nugget:
ComScore found that for the combined Yahoo-Microsoft, “searcher penetration,” or the percentage of the online population in the United States that uses one of those search engines, is 73 percent. Google’s searcher penetration is higher, but not by that much: at 84 percent.
Meanwhile, Reuters (link here), using the same report as the Times, reports that Google users are exceptionally loyal:
Yet Google searchers conduct an average of 54.5 searches a month — about double the number of searches that Yahoo! and Microsoft users conduct combined. They search on average 26.9 times a month, comScore reported.
ComScore also found that Google searchers have the most loyalty, making nearly 70 percent of their searches on Google sites. People who use Yahoo! and Microsoft sites combined search there about 33 percent of the time and also use Google heavily.
(More about comScore–that’s how they spell it–here.)
I can’t remember the last time I purposely used anything other than Google for an general internet search. From time to time, I do go directly to About dot com when I’m looking for a specific reference or a how-to for a newbie, because I’ve found About dot com’s own articles to be well-researched and easy to follow, but I almost never follow their off-site links.
The other day, I had an attack of WDB (wrong dang button) and ended up on Ask dot com, which performed just fine for the topic I was looking for.
Generally, though, I stick with Google, because it has served me well. If I can’t find what I’m looking for on the first two pages of Google results, I refine my search string, rather than digging deeper. If I get a new browser with something other than Google as the default search engine, I change the default.
Before Google came along, I used Dogpile, a meta-search engine which queries other search engines. After about three months, I realized that Google was so efficient that it no longer paid to wade through duplications from different search engines on Dogpile.
Google has earned my loyalty through performance. It will take a lot to shake it.
Sidelight: While visiting the Ask dot com, About dot com, and Dogpile dot com homepages to get homepage links for this post, I noticed they have all jazzed up their homepage with purty pictures. Google has not.
Aside: By the way, I don’t do third-party tool bars. Did once, for about a day. Never again.