Archive for the ‘comScore’ Category

Explicit Core Search Share: Not All Searches Are Created Equal

August 18, 2010

From comScore:

RESTON, VA, August 17, 2010 – comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released its monthly comScore qSearch analysis of the U.S. search marketplace. With the July 2010 qSearch data release, comScore will now be reporting “Explicit Core Search” results alongside its standard “Total Core Search” results in order to provide transparency around the impact of contextually driven searches. For a more detailed explanation behind this reporting enhancement, please refer to the following blog post:

Explicit Core Search Share

Explicit Core Search Share

In general, comScore added the Explicit Core Search Share label to combat both Microsoft and Yahoo from inflating their search market share through inclusion of contextually generated searches – not search engine originated search queries – in their search market share claims.

You can’t blame Microsoft and Yahoo for trying to get their contextually generated searches counted within their search properties but then that wouldn’t be playing fair now would it?

Congratulations go to comScore for catching, announcing and reporting the distinction between the two types of searches in their rankings.


One Trillion Display Ads “Received” in Q1 2010

May 13, 2010

From comScore’s Ad Metrix:

U.S. Internet users received a record 1.1 trillion display ads during the first quarter, marking a 15-percent increase versus year ago. Total U.S. display ad spending in Q1 reached an estimated $2.7 billion, with the average cost per thousand impressions (CPM) equal to $2.48.

*Display ads include static and rich media ads; excludes video ads, house ads and very small ads (< 2,500 pixels in dimension)

Facebook Ranks as Top Display Advertising Publisher in Q1 2010

Popular social networking site led all online publishers during Q1 with 176 billion display ad impressions, representing 16.2 percent market share. Yahoo! Sites ranked second with 132 billion impressions (12.1 percent), followed by Microsoft Sites with 60 billion impressions (5.5 percent) and Fox Interactive Media with 53 billion impressions (4.9 percent).

Top 10 Online Display Advertising Publishers

Top 10 Online Display Advertising Publishers

AT&T Ranks as Top Display Advertiser in Q1 2010

AT&T led competitor Verizon as the top online display advertiser in Q1 with 26.3 billion impressions, accounting for 2.4 percent of display ads. Verizon held the second position with 21.9 billion (2.0 percent), followed by Scottrade Inc. with 16.4 billion (1.5 percent) Experian Interactive with 15.6 billion (1.4 percent) and Sprint Nextel Corporation with 10.1 billion (0.9 percent).

Top 10 U.S. Online Display Advertisers

Top 10 U.S. Online Display Advertisers

The operative word relative to all the above comScore display advertising data is “Received”.

It seems to me the headline could have read “one trillion display ads delivered in Q1 2010″ but that wouldn’t have necessarily framed comScore’s position on the value of online display advertising as favorably.

Top Gaining Site Categories By Percentage March 2010

April 19, 2010

From comScore:

Automaker discounts and incentives compelled millions of Americans to visit auto manufacturer sites to seek information and investigate possible purchases. Political news and information sites also saw sizeable gains in traffic as Americans tuned into the debate over passage of the congressional healthcare bill.

“Auto manufacturers relied on incentives and promotions to boost sales before the end of the quarter, sending more Americans to research their purchases online prior to buying,” said Jack Flanagan, executive vice president of comScore Media Metrix. “As automakers compete in this challenging market, it is ever more important for consumers to research all of their options online before making these important purchase decisions. Americans also looked to stay abreast of the monumental healthcare bill negotiations in March by closely following political news and information online.”

Automakers Drive the Deals Home

Auto Manufacturers ranked as the top-gaining site category in March, growing 23 percent to more than 30 million visitors, as potential buyers researched vehicle options online. General Motors led the category with 7.6 million visitors, up 32 percent during the month. Hyundai Motors, Inc. grabbed the #2 position with 5.4 million visitors, representing a 222-percent surge since February. Toyota attracted 5.1 million visitors, followed closely by Ford Motor Company with 5.0 million (up 3 percent). grew 71 percent to 4.4 million visitors, while Honda attracted 3.6 million visitors.

Americans Debate Healthcare Reform Online

Political sites grew 18 percent in March to 20.5 million visitors as Americans sought the latest news and analysis on the political landscape, including the hotly debated healthcare reform bill. attracted 5.3 million unique visitors, while The Economist Group grew 35 percent to 2.7 million visitors and grew 10 percent to 1.8 million visitors. The number of visitors to more than doubled during the month, growing 133 percent to 1.5 million visitors.

Online Trading Sites Flourish as Stock Market Recovers

As the stock market continued to rebound in March so did traffic to Online Trading sites, which grew 13 percent to 11.5 million unique visitors. Fidelity Investments ranked as the #1 investment site, rising 10 percent to 3.5 million visitors. Scottrade Sites ranked second with 1.6 million visitors (up 7 percent), followed by with 1.5 million visitors (up 20 percent), and ETrade Financial Network with 1.3 million visitors (up 25 percent).

Top Gaining Site Categories

Top Gaining Site Categories

If double digit gains in visits to industry sector websites are an indicator of future economic activity, it looks like the American consumer is once again showing signs of life.

U.S. Searches Increasing By One Billion Per Month

April 12, 2010

From comScore:

Americans conducted 15.4 billion searches in March, up 7 percent from February. Google Sites accounted for 10.0 billion searches, followed by Yahoo! Sites (2.6 billion), Microsoft Sites (1.8 billion), Ask Network (593 million) and AOL LLC (380 million).

US Searches Increase

US Searches Increase

U.S. core searches increased by one billion from February to March 2010 increasing U.S. searches per capita per month (SPCPM) to nearly fifty.

The Branding Impact of Online Display and Video Advertising

March 26, 2010

Online display and video advertising attribution studies are becoming increasingly more frequent as every medium seeks to quantify the effectiveness of their advertising distribution platforms compared to search advertising.

The following press release from comScore is an example of these new types of online advertising attribution studies.

London, UK, March 25, 2010 – .Fox Networks (pronounced “dot-fox”), the leading global online network from Fox International Channels (FIC) and comScore, a leader in measuring the digital world, today unveiled the findings of a ground-breaking U.K. study. The study, commissioned by online video specialist .Fox, used comScore’s single-source panel methodology to confirm that video and display advertising are effective at driving significant uplift in site visitation and advertiser search queries, even in the face of minimal clicks on ads.

The study evaluated results from four campaigns across four industry sectors and produced the following key findings:

Video and display advertising both successfully increased brand engagement in each of the four campaigns analysed. The average uplift across the campaigns saw site visitation increase by more than a factor of seven over a four week period following exposure to an ad, with consumers three times more likely to conduct search queries using brand or relevant generic terms in the same time period.
When evaluating video and display side by side, consumers exposed to video advertising were 28 percent more likely to visit the brand site and nearly twice as likely to conduct a trademark search.
Confirming expectations and previous industry understanding, video was able to generate a more immediate impact in the first five exposures than display ads in terms of increases in site visitation and search queries; however, behavioural response for those exposed to display climbed steadily as the number of ad impressions increased.
The results, which have been released in full at the Advertising Research Foundation’s 2010 conference in New York this Wednesday, are also particularly significant given sharp decreases in online advertising click-through-rates over recent years, with the U.K. being the worst affected of leading global markets.

The study underscores the fact that consumer search behaviour is positively impacted by the presence of display or video advertising — even in the face of minimal clicks. In each of the four campaigns, search activity increased significantly when consumers were exposed to these online ad formats, suggesting that the last click on a search ad should not be given 100 percent of the credit in attribution studies.

Commenting on the findings, Hernan Lopez, President of .Fox Networks and COO of FIC said, “This study proves that online display and video advertising drives significant results that are either being ignored by click-through-based metrics, or wrongly attributed to search. We make an open invitation to global advertisers to work with us and comScore in a follow-up to the study, measuring the impact on actual sales.”

“As the online industry seeks to increase its share of branding advertising budgets, it’s more important than ever to prove the value of display and video ad formats”, said Gian Fulgoni, chairman of comScore. “This research and our recent Whither the Click study for Europe are helping marketers understand that the internet is indeed a powerful branding medium and how vital it is to measure campaign effectiveness using the appropriate behavioural metrics rather than just the click.”

U.S. Searches Per Capita Per Month (SPCPM)

February 11, 2010

From comScore:

In the January analysis of the top properties where search activity is observed, Google Sites led the search market with more than 14 billion search queries, followed by Yahoo! Sites with 2.7 billion queries and Microsoft Sites with 1.8 billion searches. Bing experienced large growth during the month with an 11-percent increase in query volume to reach more than 1.5 billion searches. Craigslist jumped one position to #6 with 636 million searches, while Facebook grew to 395 million searches, representing a 13-percent increase from the previous month.

Search Queries Share

Search Queries Share

23.2 billion search queries ran in the U.S. during the month of January 2010 equates to 75 searches per capita per month (SPCPM)

What if any factors will impact the present 2% growth rate in searches per capita per month going forward?

Which countries have the lowest searches per capita per month?

Which countries have the highest searches per capita per month?

Which countries are experiencing contracting searches per capita per month?

Which countries are experiencing compound annual growth in searches per capita per month?

Can comScore not provide its audience with this type of search data?

Top 10 Countries By Number Of Searches Conducted

January 22, 2010

From comScore:

“Search is clearly becoming a more ubiquitous behavior among Internet users that drives navigation not only directly from search engines but also within sites and across networks. If you equate the advancement of search with the ability of humans to cultivate information, then the world is rapidly becoming a more knowledgeable ecosystem.”

Top Search Markets Worldwide

The total worldwide search market boasted more than 131 billion searches conducted by people age 15 or older from home and work locations in December 2009, representing a 46-percent increase in the past year. This number represents more than 4 billion searches per day, 175 million per hour, and 29 million per minute. The U.S. represented the largest individual search market in the world with 22.7 billion searches, or approximately 17 percent of searches conducted globally. China ranked second with 13.3 billion searches, followed by Japan with 9.2 billion and the U.K. with 6.2 billion. Among the top ten global search markets, Russia posted the highest gains in 2009, growing 92 percent to 3.3 billion, followed by France (up 61 percent to 5.4 billion) and Brazil (up 53 percent to 3.8 billion).

Top 10 Countries By Number of Searches December 2009

Top 10 Countries By Number of Searches December 2009

*Searches based on “expanded search” definition, which includes searches at the top properties where search activity is observed, not only the core search engines.

The main takeaway from this month’s comScore data is that the 22 Billion US searches translates into approximately 73 searches per month per capita.

Top 15 US Ad Networks By Reach

January 14, 2010

comScore has released its December 2009 rankings of the Top Ad Networks by reach of US internet users.

AOL continued to reach the largest percentage of internet users reaching 186 million people or 91% of the total internet audience followed by Yahoo! Network (180.9 million) and Google Ad Network (178.1 million).

Top 15 Ad Networks By Reach

Top 15 Ad Networks By Reach

Although reach has been equated with advertising value to brand advertisers, advertising reach clearly doesn’t translate into earnings power or stock market value for either AOL or Yahoo.

Combined the two companies ad network’s reach victories produce stock market valuations of $2.71 and $23.99 Billion respectively.

Combined AOL and Yahoo’s market values are 14% of Google’s $187 Billion market capitalization.

Buying reach online may be valuable to brand advertisers, but it apparently isn’t as valuable as buying search is to all the small to medium size non-brand businesses who advertise on Google.

Top 50 Web Properties

October 16, 2009

comScore has released its September 2009 Top 50 Web Properties list by unique visitors.

From comScore:

Top 50 Properties

Google Sites ranked as the #1 property in September with 165 million visitors, followed by Yahoo! Sites with 160 million visitors and Microsoft Sites with 133 million visitors. held its #5 ranking  with 95 million visitors, while ESPN climbed 9 spots to #30.

Top 50 Web Properties

Top 50 Web Properties

I wonder how many of the top 50 web properties and their ad generated revenues it would take to match and surpass Google’s advertising revenues?

Online Advertising Offline Sales Lift Greater Than Television

August 17, 2009

comScore has released a study in conjunction with dunnhumbyUSA showing online advertising to be on par with television advertising in growing retail sales of consumer packaged goods brands.

From the comScore release:

Over the course of twelve weeks, online ad campaigns with an average reach of 40 percent of their target segment successfully grew retail sales of the advertised brands by an average of 9 percent. This compares to an average lift of 8 percent for TV advertising as measured by Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) and published in their seminal research paper “How Advertising Works.”

Offline Sales Lift

Offline Sales Lift

comScore Executive Chairman Gian Fulgoni had the following comments about the comScore/dunnhumbyUSA research:

“These early results confirm the ability of online advertising to successfully build retail sales of CPG brands on par with the impact of television advertising. It is likely that the more precise targeting ability of the Internet – especially in terms of accurately reaching the desired demographic segment — is a key reason for its effectiveness. That is meaningful in and of itself, but when you take into account the fact that online advertising is generally less costly than television, these results take on even greater significance.”

Hernan Lopez, COO, Fox International Channels and dot.Fox Networks commented:

“While there is no doubt that advertising can increase sales, measuring that effect is very hard to do. comScore and dunnhumbyUSA’s robust methodology has without question achieved that goal and puts online display in the select club of media that can generate measurable sales in the short-term and build brands in the long term.”

I expect to see more studies like this one from comScore/dunnhumbyUSA comparing the effectiveness of online display advertising to other major media’s display advertising counterpart – particularly television’s – from both Madison Avenue and the Online Advertising Industry over the next several years.

Online display advertising will eventually have its day – when that day will arrive still remains to be seen.