Hitwise is an outfit that tracks what is going on on the Net. They can do particular research for you or in the case below do some work to illustrate important changes in patterns that likely will cause more specialized and private reseach to be conducted.
In the past four weeks. Google Maps received 19% of its search traffic from paid listings compared with 10% for MapQuest.
A year ago, MapQuest had more than five times (429%) more US visits than Google Maps. Last week, that gap was down to 126%. Google Maps is the #2 Maps website and attracted 22% of visits to Maps websites. Yahoo! Maps and MSN's Local Live stand 3rd and 4th.
Traffic to MapQuest has remained flat year on year and is down 20% in the past 6 months. Google Maps traffic is up 135% year on year and is up 7% in the past 6 months. The growth for Google Maps is from traffic from the Google search engine. The following chart shows the share of Google's own traffic that it sends to each of the top four Maps websites.
Google sends more of its own traffic to Google Maps than to Mapquest, a change that occurred last March. This can't really be attributed to an increase in consumers looking for Google Maps. We can measure this through Internet searches. Searches for "google maps" have increased but the term "mapquest" receives nearly 10x the search volume.
The change is that Google is sending more traffic to Google Maps for high volume generic terms and for variations on the MapQuest brand name. Google sent more traffic to Google Maps for searches for "maps" this year compared with the same week last year. The same is true for "driving directions", "map" and "directions" as well as variations on the MapQuest brand name including "mapquest driving directions" and "map quest".