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Sep 15, 2008

Global Views, Clicks, and CPC's

The Internet is so large that no single company has visibility over the whole. Let's take another stab at a first order approximation.

Total Views

Alexa reports that Yahoo has 5% of global views; Google has 2.7%; Youtube delivers another 4%. Compete reports 2 billion visits per month with 18 pages per month for Yahoo. Combining the numbers, global views is 720 billion per month. Adjusting for the Alexa bias toward developed countries; and reported double-digit growth in undeveloped countries; we estimate total views of 1 trillion - give or take a few hundred billion.

As a second source to verify the one trillion, comScore estimates 8 billion searches per month in the USA. Compete estimates 20 billion global views for Google. This jives with Google's annual report stating that over 51% of revenues come from international sources. When combined with Alexa data, it also implies about one trillion views.

Note that search is only 2% of page views.

Total Clicks

Google reports $5 billion per quarter, most of which is attributable to click advertising. Efficient Frontier reports that average Google CPC is $0.60 on Google pages; $0.30 on affiliate pages. At Google rates, this is 10 billion clicks per quarter or 3 billion per month.

If half the pages have Google Adsense, the implied CTR is less than 1%. 

Of course, Hitwise claims that Google has 71% of the global search share. Does Google have more than 50% penetration with AdSense? Since Hitwise, comScore, and Alexa undercount developing nations, does Google have an even higher share? Since Google gains 67% of revenues on their own pages; the CTR is probably under 0.5% for the sum of all affiliates. 

Click fraud, unintentional clicks, and habitual clickers further erode the value of fractional CTR's.

Do you have data to contribute for a better global view?

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