This Can’t Be Right, Can It?

Share via Twitter Share via Facebook Share via Linkedin Share via Reddit

Was just cruising some of the metrics on our Mint installation, and clicked on the Search Engines tab in the Referrer Aggregator Pepper (read: plugin), and saw these results:

  1. Google 14,805
  2. Yahoo 402
  3. MSN 294
  4. Google Blog Search 94
  5. Ask Jeeves 53
  6. Dogpile 38
  7. AOL Search 24
  8. Answers.com 13
  9. A9 12
  10. Altavista 10

I know I’ve said all along that blogs are at least as much about search engine traffic – and by proxy, internet visibility – as they are about feed subscriptions. But can Google really be that dominant? Since we turned that Pepper on, Google’s leading everyone else by an order of magnitude? Everything I read leads me to believe that Google’s share is more in the 30% plus range; market leading, but not absurdly so. Nor can I really explain this via context. Our percentage of users running Firefox, as an example, are much higher than the general populations – just south of 60%, rolling all the Mozilla versions up – because of our audience. But our search traffic is far less specific – someone stumbled on my blog the other day, for instance, searching for Kate Hudson’s cellphone number. I’m at a loss to explain this.

In other news, I dropped CrazyEgg’s JavaScript codes on my blog and redmonk.com the other day, and the results are somewhat interesting. More on that when I get time.

Update: Tim Bray notes a similar Google dominance here.


  1. You may have poor rankings on Yahoo/MSN (maybe Microsoft doesn’t like your site…) and a better ranking on Google which would skew the stats.

    My site… very high Linux/Firefox and Google skews. Doesn’t mean that’s reflective of the market. It’s just who’s finding it.

    I also think Google gives more weight to blogs/personal sites than Yahoo/MSN do. I have no facts to back it up – just that I see more blog results on Google it seems

  2. Steven- I’ve seen several sites show similar data- 75-80% of traffic coming from google- and no one show otherwise. May of course just be the sites I visit, but I doubt it. Remember that Google is not just the most visited site on the web, but they achieve that without working hard to make their site ‘sticky’. So it shouldn’t be too surprising that they are likely doing far greater search volume than their competitors.

  3. Oh, and Mike- oddly, my blog does better on MSN than either Yahoo or Google- I’m #1 for ‘Luis’ on MSN, 3rd on Yahoo, and 2nd on Google. This is not just a vanity search, but also an insanity test- no way I’m relatively more interesting than San Luis Obispo, Luis Bunuel, Jorge Luis Borges, or Rep. Luis Gutierrez.

  4. Mike: you might have a point. while i’ve done the homework before and noticed slight differences between the search engines, a quick check reveals some rather startline differences.

    gnome wifi, for example, has me #1 on Google, but not even top 10 on Yahoo. no idea why. but definitely indicative of a greater disparity.

    Luis: i’m seeing enough confirmation of that, i suppose you’re right. it’s worth asking the question, then, i think – do the people who use Google simply query more than those who use Yahoo or MSN? in other words, are the differences not only on preference but volume?

  5. Stephen: I have a feeling the only people who could tell you that with any serious amount of accuracy are Google, Yahoo, and MSN, and they probably aren’t talking 😉

  6. Maybe it has something to do with the amount of non-human searches that Google allows its API users to do?

    I’m pretty sure Google is more popular on the search automation front than the other engines.

  7. Hi – we’re seeing a lot of sites with similar data patterns. Technology related blogs tend to get by far the highest Google traffic, very often +90%, as is the case here, whereas sites that relates to less technological subjects, like the home, get more balanced traffic. But balanced still rarely results in Yahoo or MSN breaking 20%. In the case of blogs, performance in differing engines can vary wildly from post to post. For whatever reason you’ll find certain posts within your site will perform very differently from others within the engines; sometimes it seems without rhyme or reason. For better insights, feel free to try out Enquisite – it’s all about unlocking search trends, and will give you better insights into what’s going on.

  8. Luis: you’re probably right, unfortunately

    Danno: interesting – hadn’t considered that

    Richard: thanks for the tips, and maybe i’ve give Enquisite a shot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *