Google Velocity: Froogle and Local are dying while Video and Blog are surging

Google has been criticized for being unable to succeed beyond its core Web Search offering. Last year Forbes "graded Google" and didn’t give the internet superstar high marks beyond the core web search products. Just last week Forbes "re-graded Google" on the past year’s performance. At Compete we tend to look at things a bit myopically. We’re all about the data.

So to understand Google’s scholastic aptitude we looked at which currently available Google search properties were making the grade from a consumer driven data perspective.

Since January 2006 Google Web Search sessions have grown 23%. If you aggregate all of Google search sessions across all of their properties you get a year-over-year growth rate of 24%. This means that all non-Web search properties contributed only 1ppt to Google’s overall gains.
After rolling out over 15 targeted search services, Web Search continues to account for more than 95% of Google’s growth.

This isn’t to say that all of Google’s efforts haven’t been worthwhile. Several properties exhibit strong 13 month trends and should emerge as core Google properties in time.
To identify the winner and the losers, Compete categorized each Google property into three categories (Super Performers, Performers and Under Achievers) based on their 13-month growth trend. Compete indexed all sites to their session volume in Jan ’06. Index scores over 100 indicate proportional growth. Index scores under 100 indicated proportional decline.

Most of these high flyers are relative youngsters in the Google portfolio, but super stars none-the-less.

  • Despite the YouTube acquisition, Google Video continues to grow and is one of Google’s most promising categories. That big spike in August? That’s when Google added Video to the homepage.
  • Even if you don’t buy into the hype that Google Blog has surpassed Technorati the growth is undeniable as Google’s second fastest growing property.
  • Google Scholar has had an interesting roller coaster ride since launching in late 2005. I’m very curious on what Scholar will grow in to considering Backrub was originally an academic tool.

The middle of the pack is made up of Google’s bread and butter services.

  • Leading the group is Google Maps. This growth comes on the heels of Google essentially merging Local and Maps in late 2005.
  • Toolbar search growth has been strong throughout 2006. This comes on the heels of a major effort by Google to bundle the toolbar with a variety of partners (e.g. Dell, Adobe, etc).

Did you ever see Michael Jordan play baseball? Long story short, it’s impossible to be good at everything"¦ Google is no exception.

  • Want to find truly in-market shoppers for just about any good sold online? You can’t throw a rock at a shopping engine without hitting one square in the wallet. The decline of Google’s shopping engine definitely makes one pause. I wonder where all those Froogle flee-ers are heading?
  • Despite just about everyone in the search world chiming in on the shift to a more local web, Google Local took the biggest hit over the past year. To be fair this is mainly due to merger of Local and Maps. The growth in Maps more than offsets the decline in Local.

Next week we’ll be taking a look at Yahoo’s various services to see which received a thick peanut butter covering and which services came up a little thin. Stayed tuned.

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