Google (Lack Of) Buzz
Google (Lack Of) Buzz
Despite massive interest on its launch day, Google Buzz has quickly seen its momentum dwindle to practically nothing, according to a new study by online ad network Chitika. While public interest in Buzz, as defined by searches, has become inconsequentially small, current short-social-media king Twitter has seen consistent interest, both across the Chitika network and through Google’s Insights for Search tool.
Bursting onto the scene to massive fanfare and hype in early February, Google Buzz was supposed to be the big G’s triumphant entry into the social marketing industry. With a huge installed base of Gmail users and an interface similar to widely-used Twitter, it had the makings of a Web game-changer. And, sure enough, February 9th, 2010 – the day Buzz was launched – the search engines lit up with queries. The Chitika network saw about 1,500 searches that day for the term “Google Buzz,” approximately 15 times the number of searches for “Twitter.”
However, those searches dropped off quickly – on February 10th, there were 580 searches; on the 11th, 147. From the 12th on – only three days removed from Buzz’s much-hyped launch – searches for Google Buzz failed to break three digits, and in most cases elicited less than 10 searches per day. During the same time, searches for Twitter remained fairly stable, averaging about 87 searches per day.
Using Google’s own keyword search volume tool shows a similar spike-and-decline, although the spike doesn’t appear to be as drastic as within the Chitika network. According to Google’s tool, the top day for searches for “Google Buzz” was February 10th, the day after the service was launched, with a peak of 59 daily searches. By the 15th, searches for the service had dwindled to less than ten a day, and since February 26th there has been a constant stream of one search per day. Twitter, by contrast, has shown similar stability to the numbers seen across the Chitika network – over the entire time period, Twitter saw an average of 84 searches per day.
The discrepancy between the two – Google Buzz’s much more impactful first few days on Chitika – can be explained by a high proportion of Internet users looking for information on Google’s hot new product. Google’s tool measures all searches across the Google network, whereas the Chitika numbers reflect traffic from searches to a network of editorial websites. The mirroring declines – combined with both data sets’ showing Twitter remaining stable throughout – cast a measure of concern on Buzz.
Search queries can be used as a measure of the general Internet community’s interest and awareness of a product or service. People would appear to be well aware of and interested in Twitter, not surprising given the four years it has spent building up its user base and notoriety. Google Buzz, however, seems to have failed to capture the interest of social media users – whether due to its well-publicized privacy issues or the fact that it’s attempting to cram into an already oversaturated social media universe. The next step will show whether Google is serious about Buzz or not. It will be interesting to see if they continue to push Buzz as the next big social network, or if they let it founder, denied the attention and engineering it needs to survive, like Google Wave before it.
Chitika, Inc., is a user intent-based online advertising network, leading the way in intent-based advertising and search engine insights. Chitika provides publishers with an innovative way to monetize search engine traffic, and advertisers a new way of generating leads with clear consumer intent. With over 80,000 sites and 2 billion monthly impressions, the Chitika network is the pulse of the online world. Through research and targeting, Chitika continually evolves its image as “the ad network that knows when not to show ads.” For more information, visit http://chitika.com
Research Director, Online Insights