Google Continues to Cool; Everyone Looking for That Youtube Thing

October brought us another month with Google losing a little steam. Month-over-month Google web-search market share was slightly off. Since October 2005 Google’s share was still up substantially and remained the reference standard for the industry with the leading market share.

Yahoo and Ask both posted gains. Yahoo’s gain wasn’t enough to push its share back up to year ago levels. Ask on the other hand managed to eek out just enough gains with the recent offline media campaign to push market share above year ago levels for the first time since May. As we mentioned last month we’ll have to see if this hangs on for Ask.

One has to wonder if MSN intends to spend some money offline to help drive some eyeballs to their new Live Search. Sure looks like they need something as they have lost market share every month in the last year.

It has always seemed interesting to us how many people use search engines as a simple navigational tool (finding specific websites). When you look at the top-100 terms searched on the top-4 engines, a majority of searches on all but one engine were navigational. 68% of top Google searches, 74% of top Yahoo searches, and a full 86% of the top searches on MSN/Live were navigational searches. Ask is the only top engine with less than a majority with only 37% of top searches being navigational.

In order to get a slightly different perspective on things this month we’ve decided to trim those navigational searches. However, before we go there it would be shameful if we didn’t at least mention a tiny little story that happened to hit the mass media last month. What does $1.6 Billion buy you? Well in addition to the top video sharing site on the web it buys you a 163% increase in people searching for Youtube on your search engine. Searches for Youtube cracked the top-15 search terms on Google for the first time in October.

Stepping beyond the big story and looking at the top non-navigational terms we see some pretty interesting terms. How many of you reading this have ever thought about pimping out your Myspace profile and searched for "myspace layouts"? Well you’re not alone as it was the top term on both Google and Yahoo in October. After pimping out their online look it seems like a lot of people were reaching out to the web to hide their real persona on the 31st. "Halloween costumes" managed to pop into the top-10 on all four engines. I guess people need good costumes to hide the fact they’re searching for all that "¦ ahhhem "¦ adult content.

* Search market share includes web search only and is calculated based on unique queries within each session during the given month. A unique query is defined as unique user, search engine, and term with no double counting for repeat queries within a session by the same user. Compete tracks the 20 top search engines. For more information please contact Compete.

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