Google data watch: Enough with the overanalysis

Google data watch: Enough with the overanalysis

Summary: ComScore's latest search data showing Google queries declined has caused concern and a good bit of overanalysis. But everyone needs to take a deep breath when it comes to analyzing every little Google twitch.

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TOPICS: Google
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ComScore's latest search data showing Google queries declined has caused concern and a good bit of overanalysis. But everyone needs to take a deep breath when it comes to analyzing every little Google twitch.

schmidt.pngNow it's clear everyone is trying to call Google's quarter, which will be revealed in about a month. There's a lot at stake, but one month's of data--a short month at that--is hardly a reason to freak out. Consider the main takeaway from the Techmeme talk today: Google queries decelerated in February, says Henry Blodget. Reuters has the same take. The rub: February is a short month--29 days this go round. Meanwhile, we're comparing a sequential dip--hardly killer trend material.

And what's really interesting is that comScore is up front about the short month affect. From the statement:

February 2008 saw Americans conduct nearly 10 billion core searches, representing a 6-percent sequential decline in activity versus January, primarily a result of the shortened month.

It's a shortened month folks. It's damn lucky that there was an extra day in February or we'd have to put Google on death watch. Simply put, there's a lot of handwringing going on over a company that saw its core search share increase to 59.2 percent, up from 58.5 percent in January.

Overall, search queries were down across the board. Says comScore:

Each of the five core search engines experienced search query declines as a result of February being a seasonally soft month for overall search activity.

Perhaps fewer search queries are a sign of a looming recession. Perhaps it's a seasonal February thing. One thing clear: Google is still the best house on the block. A year ago, Google had 53.8 percent search market share. Today it has 58.4 percent. This is hardly a reason to fret.

Other caveats: comScore's data is based on its relatively new qSearch measurement. As Thomas Weisel analyst Christa Quarles notes "the qSearch definitions are relatively new and it's unclear how predictive the data will be."

We've seen this Google data watch play out just a few weeks ago over comScore's paid click data. Google’s Tim Armstrong, president of advertising and commerce in North America, said that the decline in paid click rates was due to a focus on ad quality. Google shares were whacked on concerns about the most recent data from comScore. However, Armstrong noted that the changes created a better consumer experience because they saw better targeted ads.

Add it up and you have new definitions, a decline in search queries in a shortened month and a lot of worrywarts. Breathe in. Breathe out. Relax.

Topic: Google

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11 comments
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  • Well, Googles stock WAS overvalued, and should have declined, but NOT for

    the reasons it probably did. Completely unrelated. You are spot on with your comments, this is being way over analyzed.
    DonnieBoy
  • The sky is falling!!!

    Great post Larry.
    Glados
  • RE: Google data watch: Enough with the overanalysis

    Did I call it or what? I said Google was on a decline and here we have proof of that. We can only hope they continue this decline and go out of existence. I expect the lay offs to start happening soon as well. Its foolish that they continue to pay their employees to sit around and play with office toys. If I was a stock holder I'd be very upset and put an end to that immediately.
    Loverock Davidson
    • Poor Reader

      The decline is attributed to the shortened month.

      "February 2008 saw Americans conduct nearly 10 billion core searches, representing a 6-percent sequential decline in activity versus January, primarily a result of the shortened month."

      Also...

      "Each of the five core search engines experienced search query declines as a result of February being a seasonally soft month for overall search activity."

      So Google is not failing any faster than the rest.

      Read a little closer next time Chicken Little.
      philpenn
      • You wish that were the case

        But it is not. Google has been on a decline for a while now. It has nothing to do with the length of the month. Its because they just genuinely don't care about customers or any of their services. Everything they try is always a "me too" product which others already have better implementations of. So they create the product, try to hype it, people realize its just hype and forget about it, then Google forgets about it. Their whole business model is flawed with that kind of thinking and their employees doing no real work expect playing with office toys.
        Loverock Davidson
  • RE: Google data watch: Enough with the overanalysis

    I agree. Apparently Google is responsible for the calendar.

    "In 2008, February had 6.45% fewer days than January. Google's stock price plummets."
    BIGELLOW
  • I predict that February 2009

    will have nearly 10 % fewer days than the preceding month, with dire consequences for [b]Google[/b]'s profitability. A while back, [b]ZDNet[/b] had a blogger who not only predicted, but pretended to demonstrate mathematically that [b]Google[/b] would tank in 2009. Signature ?Loverock Davidson?'s <i>alter ego</i> ?...

    Henri
    mhenriday
  • RE: Google data watch: Enough with the overanalysis

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  • RE: Google data watch: Enough with the overanalysis

    You're right that over analysis can be detrimental.

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  • RE: Google data watch: Enough with the overanalysis

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  • RE: Google data watch: Enough with the overanalysis

    The people who analyze this data are so intelligent!




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