Google’s PC Market Share Off Its Peak, Yet Company Seeing More Searches Than Ever

Yesterday comScore released its September 2015 search engine rankings for the US market. There was almost no change in position or share from August. Google’s share hovers at just below 64 percent.
However, a year ago, Google was at 67.3 percent and Yahoo was at 10 percent. Today Yahoo is at 12.6 percent. Google’s intervening losses and Yahoo’s gains are likely a result (at least partly) of the Firefox default search deal with Yahoo.

In terms of desktop search query volume Google saw a year over year increase of 1 percent to 11.4 billion searches. Bing saw a 2 percent annual increase. Yahoo was flat. However this doesn’t tell the full story, which needs to include mobile volumes to present a complete picture of the market.

Assuming that the figures immediately above are accurate, we can combine them with Google’s prior statements about mobile search exceeding the desktop to argue that there are at least 11.4 billion mobile queries on Google

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Apple Devices Driving More Search Than Android In US — [comScore]

This week at SMX East I moderated a session called The New Search Landscape, which asked what the near term future of search will look like. It was a very lively and interesting discussion. For a full overview of the session read Casie Gillette’s recap.
At the outset, however, comScore’s Eli Goodman presented some overview data. It was predominantly about the impact of mobile devices on search activity. The several charts below are from his presentation.
Desktop search is flat or declining. Even though there is some “time-spent” growth on desktop or laptop computers, search appears to have peaked; query volume growth is now all mobile (including tablets).
Search queries coming from tablets are showing the highest growth but that’s because they are growing from a smaller base. As a matter of absolute query volume, there’s more search happening on smartphones.

What’s interesting in the following chart is that comScore says there are still more queries coming from PCs than mobile

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Desktop Search: Google May Have Peaked Last Year According To comScore

Late this afternoon comScore released its monthly report on US desktop search market share. Google controlled 63.8 percent of all PC search volume in August. Microsoft (Bing) had 20.6 percent and Yahoo saw 12.7 percent.
Bing was up a fraction of a point at Google’s apparent expense, while Yahoo was flat. Month over month Google is only off 0.2 percent. However the company’s desktop search share is down nearly 4 points vs. a year ago when it was 67.6 percent. Google may thus have “peaked” on the desktop.

The measurement firm said that there were 17.6 billion PC-based searches in August. Google saw 11.3 billion of them. We must conclude then that there were at least that many mobile queries, given Google’s previous statement in May that mobile queries had overtaken search volumes on the PC.
According to StatCounter Google controls nearly 90% of mobile search in the US. Yahoo had just over 7 percent and Bing roughly 4 percent

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Study: Despite Wikipedia’s Visibility Decline In Google, It Still Shows Up More Often Than Google Properties

A month or so ago, we reported on reports, somewhat confirmed by the founder of Wikipedia, that they are losing traffic in Google. Meaning that overall, they are seeing less traffic to their website from Google organic search.
This was initially based on a report from SimilarWeb, and then a partial confirmation of sorts from Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia.
Today, Stone Temple Consulting released a new study around Wikipedia’s Google traffic from before and after the SimilarWeb report. The report shows that Wikipedia did show a decrease in URLs in the top 10 results in both commercial and informational queries in Google search.
The chart below shows, by date, what percent of queries show a Wikipedia URL in the top 10:

Here is the same chart by ranking position, which would show the decline in the number 1 and 2 positions for Wikipedia in Google:

The funny part is, the study compared how much Wikipedia URLs show up in Google’s

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Google Controls 65 Percent Of Search, Bing 33 Percent — [comScore]

In the simplest terms, the world of organic search is roughly two-thirds Google, one third Bing. Those are the July 2015 “powered by” numbers provided by comScore for the US search market.
In terms of non-network share, Bing saw a tiny 0.1 percent gain in July and so did Ask. Google was flat with 64 percent, unchanged for the past three months. Yet Google’s market share is down from 67.6 percent a year ago.

Together Bing and Yahoo combined in July for 33.1 percent market share. AOL will soon be a Bing-powered search property. If that were the case today, the share of Bing and Bing-powered searches would represent 34.3 percent of all query volume.
The post Google Controls 65 Percent Of Search, Bing 33 Percent — [comScore] appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Study: Forget About Average Organic CTRs, They Mean Nothing

Many marketers try to benchmark their organic search performance against industry average click-through rates (CTRs). This turns out to be a mistake.
According to a massive keyword performance study by Keylime Toolbox, which looked at nearly 5 million queries across a range of industries, there is so much variation by vertical category and site that averages “didn’t provide much actionable data for a specific site.”
Instead, Keylime Toolbox founder Vanessa Fox says companies should determine baseline organic CTRs and then evaluate market opportunity or measure subsequent performance against those earlier self-benchmarks. Branded and non-branded keywords should also be segmented out because branded queries typically produce higher CTRs, sometimes significantly higher.
The charts below, based on the extensive Keylime Toolbox analysis, reflect CTR variation by position and category. They are averages but they show the variability that can exist and why individual site performance may be significantly different.

Another insight from the study is that top position doesn’t automatically generate the highest CTRs. While CTR is correlated with position,

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Survey: Consumers Prefer Mobile Browser To Apps For Local Information

In the larger context of Google and now Bing’s Mobile Friendly algorithm updates comes a new consumer survey from SEO firm BrightLocal. The data show overall that consumer expectations of mobile sites, even for local business owners, have grown significantly since 2013.
While local businesses have alternative ways to be found in local search apps and vertical or specialized directory apps, the survey data here argue that consumers want to access local business websites on mobile.
While all survey data should be taken as merely directional information the following findings from BrightLocal are pretty clear: local businesses with mobile-optimized sites (that include the right information) will have a significant advantage over those that are not optimized.

Perhaps the most interesting finding in the survey of 900 US consumers is the idea that more people are using a mobile browser than apps or maps to find local business information. Accordingly these respondents expressed a greater inclination to contact local businesses with optimized sites — as

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