Archive for the ‘Google’ Category

How many people use Google as home page?

It has been long suspected that many people set search engines (such as Google.com) as their home pages, and simply type the domain name in the search box rather than in the URL box of the browser when they want to get to a web site. For example, to get to “myspace.com”, they would simply type in “myspace” in Google’s search box and click on the result to get there.

However, it has been difficult to estimate exactly how many people are doing this. AOL search data log provides some hints. I did a search in the AOL log where users typed “XYZ” and clicked a domain with “XYZ.com” or “XYZ.org” etc. The number is quite high: about 20% of all searches fall into this category.

This is a useful data point for a number of reasons:

  • It shows that as much as 20% of searches are used for navigational purposes. This explains why popular domain names such as myspace or ebay are the most search terms
  • The number of searches for a domain name (e.g. ebay) indicates how many times people go to a domain directly (rather than through a referral).

Update: Om has a post about Yahoo is the most popular search on google.