Here’s some interesting data from Hitwise. The chart shows a breakdown of the type of queries associated with each engine.
Google’s queries center on finding things, be that information, geographical location or multimedia content. This confirms what we’ve seen with our breakdown post, that Google, despite building some very attractive “portal-like” tools, maintains in consumers minds as a brand that helps you locate things.
Yahoo! in contrast, demonstrates a clear portal identity with well rounded interest on a variety of their channels or portal offerings. There is a clear difference when we compare Google’s terms with Yahoo’s… search versus engage in an activity or consume a specific type of content.
MSN queries are clearly distinct from both Google and Yahoo!, with their queries dominated by specific tools such as the new Messenger download, but also showing some portal characteristics with Music, Games and Money”.
If we see more of a convergence happening between search and social media, then I think Yahoo! should be very well placed going forward. Google seem to have problems getting take-up on their portal-like channels.
On a related note, Broadband Mechanics had this to say on the verticalization of social media:
“Weâ€™re not competiting with other social networks. We LOVE those networks and we wish them the best of luck.Â But we think that the era of giant, centralized social networks is coming to an end.Â We feel that there will be 10,000â€™s of social networks – even 100,000â€™s – each dedicated to its own unique constituency, demographic and target audience.“