A summary of search related news items that occurred this week including Hitslink stats for February show Google continuing to gain while the other three search engines continue to fade, Greg Jarboe highlights some of the key findings of Piper Jaffray’s recent report on the future of the industry of search, social networking pioneer Friendster names Google as the exclusive provider of advertising and web search services for its network, Yahoo! adds social networking to it Answers product, Google Local Business Center adds new features, and finally just two days after Turkey blocks access to YouTube, they change their minds and allow access once again.
- Hitslink’s February Stats of Search Market Share - Have you noticed more and more people using the phrase, “I googled something?” There’s a good reason for that. The February Search Market Share stats by Hitslink shows that Google continues to gain while the others slowly fade into almost non-existence. Google increases by 1.75% over previous month with a 52.16% market share. Yahoo comes in second with a dismal 10.43%, a loss of -0.85 from previous month. MSN has 5.56% and poor Ask didn’t even break 1% with a 0.92% market share. Hat tip to Stoney deGeyter.
- Piper Jaffray Maps Out Future of Search Industry - Greg Jarboe has provided some insight into the 465 page report recently issued by Piper Jaffray entitled “The User Revolution: The New Advertising Ecosystem and The Rise of the Internet as a Mass Medium” (PDF). Safa Rashtchy, managing director and senior Internet analyst, and Aaron Kessler, VP and senior Internet analyst, at Piper Jaffray had the following to say about the report itself – “Our team has focused on this report for more than a year, in part because our research kept uncovering new and important trends at a dizzying pace. It was clear that we were virtually reporting live a major upheaval unfolding in the media world, one that appeared revolutionary in magnitude. Consider this report as a warning of a storm that has already formed, a storm that will destroy many models and create new ones. Luckily, the full cycle of the storm will still take a few more years to complete, and there is still time to react.” A few observations that you can expect to find -
1.) The Internet has increasingly become a principal medium for community, communication, and entertainment – three areas that have collided together and are impacting each other’s growth – generating a new type of activity that Piper Jaffray calls “communitainment.”
2.) The Internet has become a mainstream media outlet that is now rivaling traditional media such as radio, television, newspapers, and magazines for reach and advertising dollars. In fact, the Internet is the leading medium at work and the second leading medium at home behind TV.
3.) The proliferation of online and offline media outlets has resulted in shrinking television audiences and an increasingly fragmented media landscape. More importantly, the quality of time people spend on TV has deteriorated rapidly with multi-tasking and the simultaneous use of other types of media, most notably usage of the Web while watching TV (That’s my wife).
- Friendster Names Google as Its Exclusive Advertising and Web Search Provider – An originator of the social networking craze, Friendster named Google as the exclusive provider of advertising and search for its network. Reuters reports that the plan calls for text and display advertising to run on Friendster members’ personal profile sites, worldwide, and the company will introduce Google Web search across the site in the second quarter of 2007. Founded in 2002, San Francisco-based Friendster is accredited as an early pioneer of social networking, but since has been overtaken by MySpace as the world’s most popular meeting spot. It has been rebuilding internationally and counts more than 37 million registered users in about 75 countries. No doubt we will continue to see such relationships forming with social networking sites and search engines just as in the case of Google being selected to provide advertising on MySpace and Microsoft being selected as Facebook’s advertising provider late last year.
- Yahoo! Answers Adds Social Networking - Loren Baker from Search Engine Journal has given us a great write-up explaining the new features that Yahoo! has added to Yahoo! Answers, turning it into a social networking tool with far more reach than MySpace or Facebook. Now called “Answers Network BETA,” users can connect and make friends with other Yahoo! Answers members who share similar interests and backgrounds. With 90 million users worldwide, they have easily surpassed MySpace and Facebook in terms of International reach and active member numbers. Loren points out that Yahoo! has most likely figured out that they do not have to buy Facebook for $1 billion or more, hoping to compete with Fox Interactive. Rather by turning on the social networking switch at Yahoo! Answers, they can now utilize the strength of their existing user base and international reach.
- Google Local Business Center Adds Four New Features – Barry Schwartz provides a run-down on four new features that give users more control over their Google Local Business Center listings. Thee include the ability to add photos to your Google Maps listing, add custom attributes to your business listings, correct and adjust your Google map marker location so if it is slightly off, you can move it to the right spot and the ability to see statistics on how many people viewed and clicked on your local business listings. he even provides instructions and screen shots on how to use these new features.
- Turkey Lifts Ban on YouTube – Just two days after a court ordered YouTube to be blocked because of videos that allegedly insulted the founder of modern Turkey, the country lifted its ban on the Web site. The court that ordered the site blocked on Wednesday had said it would lift the ban as soon as it ascertained that videos insulting Turkey’s founding father, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, were removed. So was the content removed? We can only assume so as the report does not say. It is interesting to know that it is illegal in Turkey to insult Ataturk, a revered figure whose image graces every denomination of currency and whose portrait hangs in nearly all government offices.