Local Market Share October – Google resumes upward swing

Heather Hopkins of Hitwise was kind enough to generate another look at market share of Mapquest & Google for Nov. ’07 thru Oct. ’08. Mapquest’s September jump has not continued. They appear to have plateaued and Google Maps appears to once again be on the rise.

MapQuest vs. Google Maps Market Share 11/08

Mapquest has risen on my local radar of late. Their September market share numbers showed a healthy rise against Google Maps with the introduction of their new site. They seem to sincerely care about customer service and the client experience in local. They are rolling out new features to their Mapping product on a regular basis lately.

Mapquest has long held the lead in the maps market place due their early start and their end user loyalty. They have however been experiencing market share declines for a number of quarters as Google Maps has shown a steady ability to take market share in the mapping & local arena and usually Google’s gains came at Mapquest’s expense.

Do you think that Mapquest’s product is competitive with Google Maps? Does their UI work as well as Google’s? Can they provide meaningful competition to the Google juggernaut in Local? Can user engagement hold Google at bay? Does customer service matter in the battle for market share?

I will be interviewing Mark Law, VP of Product Development, Mapquest next week and I am wondering what questions you might like to ask him about Mapquest in their quest for a Local presence.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
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10 thoughts on “Local Market Share October – Google resumes upward swing”

  1. Hi Mike,

    I’d like to know more about the growth of Local. The market share figures (above) are fascinating in terms of the shift of default location for Local search, but the growth in user-defined localising of search would be most useful for me. Thanks for your work on the blog.


  2. Hi Duncan

    Yes the shift to localized searching is an interesting topic. The problem is that the numbers I have seen are at best hazy (Greg Sterling has some interesting ones).

    Part of that haziness for me anyways, is caused by the inclusion of the Local in Google Universal results. That is the elephant in the room. I did do this estimating the numbers. But it is guess work.


  3. I think Mapquest’s maps are as good as Google’s and I actually like their presentation quite a bit. It feels somehow large and friendly…for some reason it reminds me of the extra fat crayons they give little ones before they can handle slim crayons.

    I think Mapquest’s user relations are way above average, owing to my recent experiences with them.

    We’ve talked about this previously, Mike, and I have to agree with you that what is missing from the Mapquest picture is the business index. Because most of the local searches I perform are to get business information, I keep turning to Google for this. I wonder if I’d turn to Mapquest if they were offering an LBC type function like Google’s.

    I’m really looking forward to your interview with Mark. He’s a very nice gentleman.

  4. @Miriam

    I too like the bold graphics, I am not such a big fan of the other clutter on the page…the heavy use of display and text ads, etc on the main page.

    The local portal is interesting- http://local.mapquest.com/ it is somewhat cleaner interface and allows some ability to remove elements from the page…but when I got rid of what is truly not useful the page ended up sort of funky…

    In the end though, it might just be habits that are hard to break….

    That all being said you must have a question for him, that is just burning a hole in your brain,no?


  5. Let’s see…unless I’ve missed it, I don’t believe that MapQuest’s Local page has lodging information. At least, they don’t in my nearest city.

    I wonder if they’ve considered incorporating that, as they do have dining information.

    But I don’t know if that’s a burning question, Mike.

    Something else I’ve noticed is that the advertising on the Local page doesn’t seem especially local. For example, right now I’m seeing an ad for Best Western in a prominent position on the page. That’s quite a large franchise. What are the opportunities for small local businesses to advertise on MapQuest for city specific pages. Cost prohibitive?


  6. I’m seeing an ad for Best Western in a prominent position on the page. That’s quite a large franchise. What are the opportunities for small local businesses to advertise on MapQuest for city specific pages.

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