Sunday, May 21, 2006

Google's other services and market share

I was surprised to see such low market share for Google Maps (13% of Mapquest) and Google News (30% of Yahoo News) in this Hitwise data.

Given that Google is the dominant web search, I expected prominent placement of Google Maps and Google News at the top of Google web search results to cause more people to switch.

For example, I normally end up at Google Maps because I lazily drop addresses into Google web search, then click on the first link I see. I would have thought more people would do the same.

I wonder what is driving all the traffic to Mapquest. Are people going there directly any time they need a map? Or is it partnerships with websites? What is supporting Mapquest's high market share?

Very curious.

[via Richard MacManus and Niall Kennedy]

Update: Richard MacManus also points to ComScore numbers that show Google's overall web search market share is growing.

Looking at the slower progress in the verticals, Richard argues, as some have in the comments to this post, that the low Google market share because the products have only been around for a couple years. I agree, but it is still surprising to me that prominent placement at the top of Google web search results is not causing more rapid adoption of Google Maps and Google News.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

About MapQuest. I use it because the name is easy to remember. It gets passed along without any difficulty by word of mouth. Why would I want to do a search when I can just type in the word I already know.

or said...

The mapquest brand is deeply entrenched in people's lives when it comes to directions. For example, I meet truckers regularly where I work, and the trucking companies always give their drivers a mapquest print out for their trip. Why would they try another mapping service when Mapquest have already been dependable in their business travels. Another thing is people don't seem to be catching on to the idea of using the Google-style search box for mapping(as I do), perhaps they like mapquest's and yahoo's rich mapping/local interface.

or said...

About Yahoo News - one reason its more popular than google news is that it provides full articles so people tend to link to it more often than google news, driving more traffic

Otis Gospodnetic said...

On gMaps vs MapQuest - my guess is the latter is still ahead of the former only due to large old ("web 1.0") sites that still have partnerships with them and push people their way.

Anonymous said...

I'm deeply skeptical of the Hitwise numbers, though I have no idea who's really using what maps.

The figure that stood out to me was that Yahoo Mail was roughly twice as popular as Hotmail. This doesn't jibe with my intuitions at all, particularly since Microsoft is touting numbers like 200 million active users for Hotmail.

At this point, I think it's difficult to draw conclusions without having some insight into their methodology.

Meme chose said...

The maps most people use are the maps they find embedded in the web pages they use.

Google did a great job of making maps more interesting and usable for people finding their own way to the maps; they didn't do a good job of giving all the web page owners a reason to go back and replace their embedded Mapquest maps with a Google version.

Anonymous said...

It has also to do with the quality of printing. E.g. Yahoo maps prints to one page and is more convenient to look at while driving. The font size and page layout also matter

Mind Valley said...

The reason why you were surprised is because you are a geek. So am I. :-)

aaron said...

Since MapQuest was the brand of choice many years, when there were no other real options, many other sites have integrated or linked to MapQuest for their directories. I think there are less and less individual searchers that go to MapQuest these days. But Google will catch up over all as more an more sites adopt their inline mapping api.

dustin said...

I'm with the anonymous user who mentioned the printing issue. Google and Yahoo maps still do not print as well as Mapquest. Maybe Google has fixed the printing issue, but it was so bad initially that I've reverted to Mapquest...

Michael said...

It’s interesting to see the word “entrenched” being used in some of these comments (one even using “deeply entrenched”). I don’t see any of the players being entrenched. Early leaders have a way of falling against the deep pockets and developer networks of Microsoft, IBM, and now Google. Can’t help but think of how everyone was quick to write-off Internet Explorer in the browser wars. Netscape was “deeply entrenched”…and now they are gone. Entrenchment has much to do with the pains of switching, quality of the product, and market share. Fact…there is no pain for a consumer to switch which mapping provider they use (except car navigation systems). So really this game is going to be about distribution. Google and Microsoft are using open APIs, developer networks, and partner networks to speed adoption.

Michael Imbleau
michaelimbleau@yahoo.com