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Yahoo! Exec ‘comScore Seach Market Data Misleading, Blames Google Instant’

Shashi Seth, SVP, YSM takes on latest comScore data, which showed Google’s search market share increase and Yahoo!’s dip, misleading. Here’s Seth’s spin:

One example to consider is Google Instant. This user experience doesn’t fit the mold for traditional search measurement – when a user starts typing, and pauses for few seconds without finishing, should that be counted as a search? For e.g., to find Sprinkles Cupcakes. When I type “S-P,” Instant offers up “Sprint,” unrelated to what I was looking for. However, this would count as a search in comScore’s measurements.

Going further and typing “S-P-R-I,” I still see suggestion for “Sprint,” not quite what I had in mind. This as well counts as another search. If I typed slower, more searches would be counted.

Looking at comScore’s report, it appears to me that majority of Google’s query growth in Sept (a month in which Instant was live for 20 days) came from precisely these kinds of interactions. I bet even folks at Google are mystified by this kind of accounting.


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