Google may be the dominant search engine in terms of market share and advertising revenue, but stats from Compete suggest that more users find what they are looking for on Yahoo than Google.
On the Compete blog Jeremy Cane takes a look at search fulfilment, finding out how many searches on Google, MSN, and Yahoo result in users actually clicking on a search results, suggesting that they have found what they were looking for.
There are around 7.5bn searches conducted every month by US web users, yet only around 5bn of these end in the user clicking on one of the search results, so around a third of all searchers fail to find what they are looking for.
A look at the figures on unfulfilled searches across the big three search engines reveals that Yahoo manages to fulfil more user searches than Google.
Last month, the percentage of search queries on Yahoo that resulted in a referral was 75%, while Google managed 65%, while MSN trails on 59%. The proportions are similar for the previous four months also.
Google may command two thirds of the US search market, but on this measure at least, they appear to be better then Google, as the figures suggest that a higher proportion of its users find what they are looking for.
Obviously, the data doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story – there are reasons why users may search without clicking on a result – they may, for instance, find a phone number or other snippet of information in the extract from the search result and not need to click through.