Google Maps Vs. Mapquest User Engagement

Google has been doing its darndest to catch Mapquest and become the most visited mapping site…seems that they have been succeeding in that, having caught up and possibly passing Mapquest.

If this Google Trends Chart is any indication, it also appears that users are actively looking for Google Maps and that their mind share in search is growing:
trends-mapsvs-mapquest

Google has been adding a number of features that should also increase user engagement. They have added expanded Streetview, Community Edits and more. So why then, does Hitwise show that Google Maps has significantly lower weekly average visit duration times than Mapquest and they are not increasing relative to Mapquest?

avg-visit

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Google Maps Vs. Mapquest User Engagement by

6 thoughts on “Google Maps Vs. Mapquest User Engagement”

  1. “So why then, does Hitwise show that Google Maps has significantly lower weekly average visit duration times than Mapquest and they are not increasing relative to Mapquest?”

    It could be due to the other content that is on the page when a visitor lands there. I explain more about it here: http://roilocalsearch.com/blog/2009/03/google-maps-or-mapquest-which-has-more-to-explore/

    -Mapquest still has more content on the results page
    -Depth- Google 10 pack on 1st page (and if the Hitwise stats are recording ‘maps.google.com’ duration data) many Google visitors get the data from the 10 pack and don’t even make it to the maps.google.com results page.
    -Crowded- Mapquest’s page is more crowded with content which results in people having to search more within the crowd of content to find what they’re looking for. So in the end, usability is more important than visit duration, at least in this example in my opinion.

  2. @Dave
    Good points, perhaps user satisfaction and ability to find what they are looking for quickly could explain it….perhaps Google gets the low hanging fruit with the 10 Pack eliminating many visits deeper…

    Definitely food for thought..

    Mike

  3. I’d have to agree with Dave – Mapquest is still a cluttered interface (by comparison). I find it quicker and easier to get my map info and/or driving directions from Google Maps.

    So the visitor duration metric can be a 2-sided coin: it’s a plus if it means users are engaging more of your site’s content, but a negative if they’re only staying longer because they can’t find what they’re looking for. That’s the problem with behavioral metrics – c’est la vie!

    Jim

  4. I agree that we can ascertain very little for certain comparing these two products on this metric.

    But what about looking at each individually. It appears that Google has not been successful in increasing time on site despite their new features.

    Mike

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