March 28, 2006

Please learn how to read the Comscore qSearch report.

Posted in Category: Work — Amr Awadallah @ 9:12 pm | link | | comment (0)

I guess its ok when media makes mistakes interpreting Comscore reports, they do not deal with numbers much, but its painful to see financial analysts making the same mistakes.

The search share that is relevant for revenue is not the Comscore total media reported qSearch share which includes all types of search like image, video, directory, groups, etc. These ancillary verticals do not contribute to revenue (not directly), hence they can double marketshare in those areas and still make no additional revenue for that quarter.

Also that specific report had a ton of methodology changes over the last year, so year-over-year comparisons are totally out of whack. For example, Comscore had a technical issue with how they count Google image search PVs which they corrected in Jan 06, that led to inflating Google’s growth in Jan and Feb compared to last year.

That said, the proper metric to look at is the Web Search PVs marketshare, and specifically within the top 5 players (Google, Yahoo, MSN, AOL, and ASK), since Comscore added a new bunch of ISP search portals to their total report in Jan 06.


— amr

PS: Bearn Stearns, you also had a typo in the table on page 2 of your report, the column headers for the last two columns should read Jan 06 and Feb 06 (instead of Jan 05 and Feb 05).

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