Thursday, March 23, 2006

Bring on the Troogle...

I noticed John Battelle [Searchblog] and Danny Sullivan's [Search Engine Watch] posts on Google Finance this morning and took a look at Hitwise to see how much traffic Google sends to Yahoo! Finance and to the Business and Finance sector as a whole.

Last week, 10% of UK visits from Google UK went to Business and Finance sites. Yahoo! Finance figured at the 499th site downstream from Google UK, receiving .02% of Google UK's traffic. With such a small percentage of visits going to Yahoo! Finance, why launch Google Finance? Something that John said in his blog caught my attention...

"Apparently this started as a 20% project in Google's Bangalore office, after Google consumer testing showed that the product was wanted by Google users.

"Well, OK then. I recall a fellow by the name of Jerry Yang and another by the name of Tim Koogle telling me that when they wanted to start a new publishing venture at Yahoo, they would watch what the users did after searching. Where the tracks were deepest - finance, sports, travel - they built a new section of the ....uh oh, here it comes...the PORTAL. "

I have included a table below that shows downstream visits from Google UK last week. Google's product development does seem to be filling gaps based on visits downstream from Google.

* 19.75% of visits go to Computers and Internet - this includes search engines, email, online communities, and image search. The obvious Google sites in this category are Google Images, Gmail, and Google.

* 13.63% of visits go to Shopping and Classifieds sites and Google Base and Froogle fall into this category.

* 10.58% of visits go to Entertainment sites and Google Video is categorised in the Entertainment - Multimedia sub-category.

* 10.07% go to Business and Finance and Google has just launched Google Finance.

* 8.94% go to travel.

* 5.78% go to Education with Google Scholar the top Google site in this category.

* 5.45% go to Lifestyle - with Google Blogger the top Google site in the category.

* 4.61% go to News and Media with Google News long-established.

The last category I'll mention is Sports, receiving 2.40% of visits from Google, and Google recently launched Joga with Nike Football.

A quick review of this list makes me think that Google Travel, rumoured to be called "Troogle", may not be far off.

Heather Hopkins, director of research at online analyst, Hitwise

Read more from Heather here

1 comment:

Graham Donoghue said...

I’ve asked them this many time (Google travel) but as you would expect, I’ve never had an on the record answer, in fact NO is the normal response. I personally think they will look at this, as within the vertical of travel there is just so much information that Google has still not indexed (all the invisible web stuff they talk about) and remember Googles mission is the index the world, in the quest for the perfect search (the all knowing librarian as Sergey Brinn would say). They may have the most powerful data centers in the world and patented software they call the Google sauce that lets them all talk to each other (I read recently there is over 100,000 cheap PC all talking to each other but not one is dependant on the other, clever stuff) Googles index is big, that’s for sure, but the quest for the perfect search is far from where we are today and this means they need to refresh that index more often with accurate data, or volatile data as we have in the travel industry. I believe to do this they need to create a vertical search for travel that gets to all that hidden data that Google currently knows nothing about and is indexed quicker or crawled in real time. We have seen some tests in the US. Go to and type in SFO LAX 15MAY05 and you will get a flavor of what I mean or at least a small sample of what they can do. So in the search for the perfect search a travel vertical search makes a lot of sense to me.