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comScore widens the definition of search results

By , agencyfaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | August 22, 2007
The Internet metrics firm has enhanced its search monitoring service with the inclusion of more sites and countries

There is search & #BANNER1 & # beyond Google and Yahoo. And it seems that comScore has realised that netizens are not searching for information only on search engines such as Google, Yahoo, MSN and Ask. Apart from this, they are also looking for information across various sites like YouTube, eBay, Orkut, Amazon and Baidu, seeking videos, books, friends, communities, maps and local businesses. comScore's new search metric is called qSearch 2.0, which will include more websites and countries where searches will be monitored.

Searches from the top 50 sites and verticals such as MySpace, YouTube, Baidu and eBay will be tracked. Local search related to maps, local directory searches and search undertaken on partner sites like Google Search on CNN.com will also be monitored.

"With the continued evolution of the search market, it has become clear there is a need to expand the way we think about search," said James Lamberti, comScore senior vice-president for search solutions, in a statement. "qSearch 2.0 gives the most comprehensive and accurate view of the entire search market by including all forms of search that are being monetised currently or could be monetised in the future."

With qSearch 2.0, comScore has also increased the number of countries where searches will be tracked and individually reported. qSearch 2.0 will now include China, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Italy, Spain and Brazil. India, The Netherlands, Russia and Argentina are scheduled to be included in September. Earlier, it used to track only the US, the UK, Germany, Canada, France and a few other countries.

We spoke to search agencies in India to find out whether this metric has any relevance for Indian websites. Vivek Bhargava, managing director, Communicate2, said, "In a Web 2.0 scenario, where content is created across various sites like Orkut and MySpace, there is a need for indexing such content as well. The launch of qSearch 2.0 is the right step in that direction."

Anurag Dod, co-founder, Guruji.com, says, "With qSearch 2.0, comScore has made it clear that international is not the US any more and local markets are dominated by local players like Baidu in China and Naver in South Korea." He points out that the inclusion of India is an endorsement that the Internet economy is growing in India.

Mahesh Murthy, CEO, Pinstorm, expressed his doubts: "comScore tends to favour brands more than users," he said.

Obviously, this initiative will definitely raise the search numbers for core players such as Google, Ask, Yahoo and MSN as the searches done on partner sites will also be included. But the real benefit will be for players such as Baidu, Naver and other sites such as YouTube and MySpace as their importance will be enhanced for online advertisers.

With qSearch 2.0, advertisers can find out where the search originated - a text box on a search engine portal, an auto-search typed in the browser's URL line, a search from a text box on a downloaded search toolbar, local search, or a partner site.