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Google Traffic Distribution Dominated By Search

Hitwise’s Bill Tancer recently posted about the distribution of Google’s traffic across its many properties. As you might expect and has been historically true, that distribution is dominated by search.

Right now, Google owns the “brand” in search. But Yahoo and Microsoft have more “diversified” traffic across multiple properties.

Without some more effort and — dare I say it? — marketing on Google’s part it’s not going to be able to do much to change that distribution: significantly boost the usage of its other properties.

But, despite some of its behavior and continuing to launch non-search products, Google is ambivalent about being a “portal” ultimately.

On the local front, let’s use these Hitwise traffic distribution data and comScore search volume data to look at Google Maps’ and local search volume:

  • comScore says that Google captured 3.1 billion US searches in October.
  • 78% of that volume ( is 2.42 billion searches.
  • .79% of that total search volume (Google Maps) is about 25 million searches in October

That would suggest comparatively small volumes for Google local search (although comparable to other top local search sites). But consider that the overwhelming majority of local searches are coming through the main sites of the engines (i.e.,

Back to the Nielsen-WebVisible data . . . most local searches the survey respondents performed (51%) didn’t contain a geographic modifier. That means most of those queries are not being well served (unless by ads via IP targeting).

Greg Sterling is the founding principal of Sterling Market Intelligence, a consulting and research firm focused on online consumer and advertiser behavior and the relationship between the Internet and traditional media, with an emphasis on the local marketplace.

Category SEO
Google Traffic Distribution Dominated By Search

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