While last year people complained that Google lacks stickiness or Yahoo has more popular services, a lot of recent reports from companies that measure Internet audiences show that Google gains more users than ever, and not only for web search.
Comscore reports that Google is the number two site worldwide in 2006, but grew 9 percent, unlike Microsoft and Yahoo, that only grew 5 percent in 2006 and occupy the first and the third position.
"Google's popularity has been driven in part by its international appeal as well as the rapid uptake of some of Google's applications beyond traditional Web search," said Bob Ivins, managing director of comScore Europe. "Examples include the 40-percent year-over-year growth in visitors to Google Image Search, the 71-percent growth in visitors to Gmail, and the 62-percent growth in visitors to Google Maps."
A recent post from Hitwise showed that Google Calendar surpassed MSN Calendar and was about to surpass Yahoo Calendar. "In the six months from June 2006 to December 2006, the market share of visits to Google Calendar increased by 333%, at the expense of its main competitors."
After being featured on Google's homepage and in Google News, Google Blog Search gained a lot of traction. Another reason might be that Technorati continue to be really slow and almost unusable at times.
In June last year, when Google Earth celebrated one year, Google announced "more than 100 million unique Google Earth downloads".
Last year, Blogger grew 90 percent to 93 million visitors, Gmail was up 71 percent to 60 million visitors, while YouTube grew 1,972 percent (yes, you read that well) to 120 million visitors.