Why Metrics Matter

Nielsen just released its October search market share data, which shows Yahoo! with higher year-over-year search growth than Google:

Nielsen

Any set of metrics based on a statistically significant market sample and tracked over time is going to give you directional accuracy. But at any point in time they may not be accurate. Right now, given the scrutiny focused on search market share, any fraction of a point change one way or another is going affect the fortunes of these companies — Yahoo! in particular.

Any perceived momentum for Yahoo! will be welcomed by the market. Any loss of share by Yahoo! would mean — in the context of a range of recent, negative PR — that the share price would likely suffer.

That’s why there’s so much at stake in getting these numbers right. (Here are the comScore search market share numbers.)

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Related: Om Malik has an interesting post on the Yahoo!-AT&T ISP relationship and why Yahoo! is probably quite grateful for it today.

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