Googles share of the online search pie is bigger than previously thought, after metric research firm, comScore decided to add results from non-search engines to its monthly search measurements.
The comScore qSearch 2.0 service will now let clients gather whether the search originates from a text box on a search engine portal, an auto-search typed in the browsers URL line, a search from a text box on a downloaded search toolbar, local search or a partner site.
The idea is to provide more insight into the different ways users find information. This capability is geared to help users view search within a collection of vertical sites, said Steve Dennen, senior director of product management for comScore.
comScore qSearch 2.0 is a departure from the Reston, Va., companys original methodology, which has traditionally gauged searches generated directly through the five "core" search sources: Google Sites, Yahoo Sites, Microsoft Sites, Ask Network and Time Warner Network.
That metric will continue, but comScore is also adding expanded metrics to include partner searches and cross-channel searches for each property. In this expanded search, for example, AOLs MapQuest, CNN and other sites will be factored into the Time Warner network query total.
This change portends bad news for those major search engines trying to compete with Google for search share, which such companies wield as a weapon in the fiercely competitive battle for online advertising dollars. Yahoo, for example, recently scored higher than Google in a customer satisfaction index for search providers.
According to Dennen, the inclusion of partner and cross-channel searches helped Google benefit "disproportionately" compared to the share reported in qSearch 1.0.
"They have the largest affiliate hosted search network of the major search engines," Dennen said.
Not only does Google have several affiliates redirecting to Google, but the cross-channel search counts multiple searches when employing more than one search tab for a single search term. This is also known as multi-tabbing and Dennen explained how comScore is gauging the practice.
Read more here about Yahoos triumph over Google in customer satisfaction.
"If a consumer goes in and types in a search phrase from the main Web search tab and then proceed to images, news and video without changing their search phrase, those are now being counted as separate searches, whereas in qSearch 1.0 because the search phrase did not change, we counted it as one search with multiple pages," Dennen said.
Asked why he thought Google benefited most from this change, Dennen said he thought Google makes its tabs more explicit, luring more users to click on them.
comScore also released July search rankings along with the qSearch 2.0 news. Google Sites led the market with nearly 5.5 billion search queries in July. But when the expanded search results are factored in, ComScores counts YouTubes search tallies, bringing Googles search query share to 6.6 billion.
Overall, Google Sites ranked as the No. 1 core search engine with 55.2 percent share of searches in July. Yahoo Sites ranked second with 23.5 percent, followed by Microsoft Sites with 12.3 percent, Ask Network with 4.7 percent and Time Warner Network with 4.4 percent.
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