Oct 25, 2007

Google's Thing Is All World

With each passing quarter, Google is raking in more revenue from Searchers outside the United States. During the summer, Google's international sources accounted for $2.03 billion, or about 48 percent of its revenue. Some Analysts have speculated that Google will eventually derive the bulk of its revenue from outside the United States. The signs are not great for other Search Engines – at least, not right now. Comscore estimates that Internet users are conducting approximately 1.4M Searches every minute – most of them through Google. In certain key markets though – other Search Engines have leveraged the first mover advantage well, and built up a healthy following amongst Internet Users.

I referenced Baidu in an earlier post – as a great example of a home-grown Search Engine which continues to grow in popularity amongst China’s Internet Users. Earlier today, Baidu reported strong growth, in its third-quarter profits, driven by growing query volume and increased engagement from active searchers, all this despite Google's efforts to expand in China. Profits were 181.7 million yuan and Revenue jumped to 496.5 million yuan ($66.3 million) from 237.6 million yuan.
Baidu currently has 60.5 percent of China's search engine market in the third quarter, up from 57.6 percent the previous quarter, according to Beijing-based research firm Analysys International. Google was in second place with 23.7 percent, up from 21 percent the previous quarter, according to Analysys. Yahoo Inc.'s China arm was in third place with 10.4 percent.
Baidu said its number of active online marketing customers grew nearly 12 percent sequentially to about 143,000. Costs related to Baidu's Japanese operations reduced earnings by 8 cents per share in the latest quarter, the company said.

In Japan, Yahoo has maintained its popularity amongst the highly engaged Japanese Internet Users – although Google is growing in popularity. Yahoo's Query Share in Japan is over 55% while Google's is over 30% and growing. In S/Korea – home grown Search Engines such as Naver and Daum have levered Korean’s preference for human interaction over software in getting search results. The whole concept of Universal or Blended Search was pioneered on a large scale, by Naver. According to comScore's qSearch 2.0 service, more than 37 billion searches worldwide went through Google in August. That's about 60 percent of all searches, Yahoo Inc. was second worldwide with 8.5 billion, followed by Baidu at 3.3 billion, Microsoft Corp. at 2.2 billion and Naver at 2 billion.
I’m still not fully sold on the relevance and accuracy of panel based metrics – such as those delivered by Comscore and Nielsen Net Ratings. However, they do provide the only available means to monitor the Global impact of General Interest Portals & Search Engines – in key markets around the world. The sobering fact is that Google continues to grow Market Share across Europe, the Americas and most markets in Asia. It will take some significant form of innovative disruption to slow this trend in the months and years ahead.

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