RealTime IT News

Stats Say Google Losing Something

Google increased its search dominance in April, but remains well behind Yahoo's news, mail, finance and maps service.

Google scored a small gain in market share in April, moving from 42.7 percent to 43.1 percent, according to comScore Networks.

But a study from the Hitwise Research Group showed that Google still trails Yahoo by large margins in portal services, such as e-mail (42.4 percent to 2.54 percent), news (6.3 percent to 1.9 percent), finance (34.9 percent to .29 percent) and maps (20.5 percent to 7.5 percent).

Google's search success led to resounding first quarter returns this year.

But some have started to say that search is only one battle in a larger-scale portal war between Google, Yahoo and Microsoft.

And that on such a scale, Google is losing.

Perhaps predictably, Yahoo shares this expansive view of the competition, while Google keeps score its own way.

When Google announced Google Finance earlier this year, search engine watchers such as Danny Sullivan called it another brick in the portal wall.

In responding to the threat, Yahoo Finance General Manager Peggy White told internetnews.com that Yahoo measured its own success by how long its users spend on their pages, a metric called engagement.

Yahoo users, White said, spend about twice as much time on their site than anybody else's.

But Google's numbers don't compare, Katie Stanton, Google spokeswoman, told internetnews.com. That's because Google doesn't keep engagement statistics. Instead, the company's mission is to get users off of Google and out onto the Web where the information lives.

"We want to be a switchboard," Stanton said. Not a portal.

But services such as Google's Gmail, News, Finance, Calendar and Maps will keep talk of a portal competition alive.

And not always favorably for Google despite its quarterly numbers.