ComScore expands search measurement offering

Will now measure queries on sites outside of the five largest search engines

In a nod to the ubiquitous nature of Internet search, ComScore is expanding its criteria for measuring the market share of such products by including searches on sites outside the arena of the core search engines like Google and Yahoo.

The online measurement firm said its new qSearch 2.0 offering, unveiled on Monday, measures searches made at the five top traditional search engines and from sites that use search to promote other core offerings. ComScore described the new service as the second generation of search measurement.

QSearch 2.0 will measure searches on "vertical search locations" run by companies like Amazon.com, eBay, MapQuest and Expedia, and searches initiated on popular Web 2.0 sites like MySpace. The service will break down searches by the country they stem from and count searches that use more than one search tab, like the Web, images or news, for a single search term.

Previously ComScore measured only Web search engines run by Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, The Ask Network and Time Warner.

"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 of 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 monetized currently or could be monetized in the future."

The service will allow clients to see if a search originated from a text box on a search engine portal, was an autosearch typed in the browser's URL line, or was initiated from a text box on a downloaded search toolbar, ComScore said. ComScore will progressively add the ability to view search results within a collection of smaller vertical sites that focus on shopping, travel, careers and the like, it said.

ComScore said that it will also continue to report a market share rankings, in a report called "core search," for the five major search engines. Searches for mapping, local directory and user-generated video sites that are not on the core domain of the major search engines will not be included in the core search numbers.

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