The last two years, Forbes.com has graded Google on the performance of its Search Properties (see 2005 and 2006 Google Report Cards). Compete.com’s Jeremy Crane took a more quantitative look at how Google did in 2006. The results: major growth in the Video, Blog, Scholar, and Desktop Search Properties.
According to Jeremy’s analysis, Froogle, Local, and Directory fall into the “Under Achievers” category. Jeremy wonders where all the Froogle traffic is going. My instinct would be to destinations like Amazon.com, which had one of its best shopping seasons ever this past Christmas (see MSNBC.com article) or directly to retailer websites. While Froogle offers aggregation of product info, my experience is that most mainstream online consumers like to use names and brands they can trust. In any case, I’m sure some market research firm could provide further insight there.
I think rather than tracking how consumers want to use Google these stats probably do a better job tracking how Google wants them to use Google.
One final surprising note from Jeremy is that according to these stats, “all non-Web search properties contributed only 1ppt to Google’s overall gains.” With Gmail, Blogger, Picassa, and now Google Docs and Spreadsheets, that’s sort of bewildering (and probably disappointing for Google considering their investment in these technologies). But I’d imagine these properties are going to see some of the largest growth in the next several years.