February 2012 U.S. Search Engine Rankings

comScore, Inc., a leader in measuring the digital world, today released its monthly comScore qSearch analysis of the U.S. search marketplace. Google Sites led the explicit core search market in February with 66.4 percent of search queries conducted.

U.S. Explicit Core Search

Google Sites led the U.S. explicit core search market in February with 66.4 percent market share (up 0.2 percentage points), followed by Microsoft Sites with 15.3 percent (up 0.1 percentage points) and Yahoo! Sites with 13.8 percent. Ask Network accounted for 3.0 percent of explicit core searches, followed by AOL, Inc. with 1.5 percent.

comScore Explicit Core Search Share Report*
February 2012 vs. January 2012
Total U.S. – Home & Work Locations
Source: comScore qSearch
Core Search Entity Explicit Core Search Share (%)
Jan-12 Feb-12 Point Change
Total Explicit Core Search 100.0% 100.0% N/A
Google Sites 66.2% 66.4% 0.2
Microsoft Sites 15.2% 15.3% 0.1
Yahoo! Sites 14.1% 13.8% -0.3
Ask Network 3.0% 3.0% 0.0
AOL, Inc. 1.6% 1.5% -0.1

*“Explicit Core Search” excludes contextually driven searches that do not
reflect specific user intent to interact with the search results.

17.6 billion explicit core searches were conducted in February, with Google Sites ranking first with 11.7 billion. Microsoft Sites ranked second with 2.7 billion searches, followed by Yahoo! Sites with 2.4 billion, Ask Network with 535 million (up 2 percent) and AOL, Inc. with 266 million.

comScore Explicit Core Search Query Report
February 2012 vs. January 2012
Total U.S. – Home & Work Locations
Source: comScore qSearch
Core Search Entity Explicit Core Search Queries (MM)
Jan-12 Feb-12 Percent Change
Total Explicit Core Search 17,804 17,588 -1%
Google Sites 11,786 11,673 -1%
Microsoft Sites 2,707 2,684 -1%
Yahoo! Sites 2,506 2,430 -3%
Ask Network 527 535 2%
AOL, Inc. 277 266 -4%

“Powered By” Reporting

In February, 68.6 percent of searches carried organic search results from Google (versus 68.4 percent in January) while 26.2 percent of searches were powered by Bing (versus 26.5 percent in January).

About comScore
comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital business analytics. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com/companyinfo.

Alabama Tourism Launches 100 Alabama Road Trips

Alabama Tourism today launched a three year campaign, “100 Alabama Road Trips” with the release of the first 10 trips. The campaign focuses on driving itineraries that travelers can experience over two or three days. The initial itineraries are now live on the tourism website and each is numbered, www.Alabama.travel. Other trips will continue to be added throughout the first year of the campaign.

The first 10 trips include the BCS Championship tour, Eagle watching on Lake Guntersville, a romantic getaway to Mobile, Selma to Montgomery Civil Rights history, spring break at the beach, a walking tour of downtown Birmingham, Huntsville’s Space & Rocket Center, Montgomery’s history tour, bird watching on the coast and the To Kill A Mockingbird tour in Monroeville. A few upcoming trips will include a Girlfriends Getaway on the Eastern Shore, family fun in Sylacauga, golfing in Alabama, music in the Shoals and Gulf Coast adventures.

Road Trip Alabama

 

“Road Trips” is also the theme for the 2012 Vacation Guide. Pages six and seven of the guide provides a sneak peek at the campaign. The cover of the publication is of a 1953 baby blue Cadillac, much like the one Hank Williams owned, parked on a pier at Lake Guntersville. The car will be used as a symbol and logo for the road trips campaign. The Cadillac is in tourism’s television commercials that are currently airing on television  stations across the U.S. The car will also be used around the state at events and festivals throughout the three year campaign.

“We wanted to make it easier for travelers to plan their trip so we came up with 100 itineraries. There’s something for everyone,” said tourism director Lee Sentell. “If you’re planning a trip to the beach, we have an itinerary for that, or a trip to experience the small towns of Alabama, we’ve got that too.”

The 164-page vacation guide provides travelers with information on hotels, restaurants, campgrounds, tourism associations, state parks, golf courses, attractions, trails and museums.

Each region of the state is highlighted and provides articles on the attractions, places to stay and events in the areas. Articles include “100 Great Alabama Road Trips” on pages 6-7, shopping for treasures in Alabama on page 13, Civil Rights history on pages 14-15, Alabama’s chefs, farms and restaurants on pages 16-25, and golf begins on page 26. Articles on each of the four regions of the state along with things to do begin with the north region on page 37. Each regional article includes a map of the area with the road trip blue Cadillac icon.

Travelers can pick up copies of the vacation guide at each of the eight Alabama Welcome Centers, by calling 1.800.ALABAMA or by requesting online at www.alabama.travel. Compass Marketing of Gulf Shores publishes the vacation guide.

January 2012 U.S. Search Engine Rankings

comScore a leader in measuring the digital world, today released its monthly comScore qSearchanalysis of the U.S. search marketplace. Google Sites led the explicit core search market in January with 66.2 percent of search queries conducted.

U.S. Explicit Core Search

Google Sites led the U.S. explicit core search market in January with 66.2 percent market share (up 0.3 percentage points), followed by Microsoft Sites with 15.2 percent (up 0.1 percentage points) and Yahoo! Sites with 14.1 percent. Ask Network accounted for 3.0 percent of explicit core searches, followed by AOL, Inc. with 1.6 percent.

comScore Explicit Core Search Share Report*
January 2012 vs. December 2011
Total U.S. – Home & Work Locations
Source: comScore qSearch
Core Search Entity Explicit Core Search Share (%)
Dec-11 Jan-12 Point Change
Total Explicit Core Search 100.0% 100.0% N/A
Google Sites 65.9% 66.2% 0.3
Microsoft Sites 15.1% 15.2% 0.1
Yahoo! Sites 14.5% 14.1% -0.4
Ask Network 2.9% 3.0% 0.1
AOL, Inc. 1.6% 1.6% 0.0

*“Explicit Core Search” excludes contextually driven searches that do not
reflect specific user intent to interact with the search results.

17.8 billion explicit core searches were conducted in January, with Google Sites ranking first with 11.8 billion. Microsoft Sites ranked second with 2.7 billion searches, followed by Yahoo! Sites with 2.5 billion, Ask Network with 527 million and AOL, Inc. with 277 million.

comScore Explicit Core Search Query Report
January 2012 vs. December 2011
Total U.S. – Home & Work Locations
Source: comScore qSearch
Core Search Entity Explicit Core Search Queries (MM)
Dec-11 Jan-12 Percent Change
Total Explicit Core Search 18,235 17,804 -2%
Google Sites 12,019 11,786 -2%
Microsoft Sites 2,750 2,707 -2%
Yahoo! Sites 2,647 2,506 -5%
Ask Network 531 527 -1%
AOL, Inc. 287 277 -3%

U.S. Total Core Search

Google Sites accounted for 66.2 percent of total core search queries conducted (up 0.1 percentage points), followed by Yahoo! Sites with 16.0 percent and Microsoft Sites with 13.8 percent. Ask Network comprised 2.6 percent of total search queries, followed by AOL, Inc. with 1.4 percent.

comScore Total Core Search Share Report*
January 2012 vs. December 2011
Total U.S. – Home & Work Locations
Source: comScore qSearch
Core Search Entity Total Core Search Share (%)
Dec-11 Jan-12 Point Change
Total Core Search 100.0% 100.0% N/A
Google Sites 66.1% 66.2% 0.1
Yahoo! Sites 16.2% 16.0% -0.2
Microsoft Sites 13.8% 13.8% 0.0
Ask Network 2.6% 2.6% 0.0
AOL, Inc. 1.4% 1.4% 0.0

* “Total Core Search” is based on the five major search engines, including
partner searches, cross-channel searches and contextual searches. Searches
for mapping, local directory, and user-generated video sites that are not on the
core domain of the five search engines are not included in these numbers.

Americans conducted nearly 20 billion total core search queries in January. Google Sites ranked first with 13.2 billion searches, followed by Yahoo! Sites with 3.2 billion and Microsoft Sites with 2.8 billion.

comScore Total Core Search Query Report
January 2012 vs. December 2011
Total U.S. – Home & Work Locations
Source: comScore qSearch
Core Search Entity Total Core Search Queries (MM)
Dec-11 Jan-12 Percent Change
Total Core Search 20,525 19,975 -3%
Google Sites 13,560 13,218 -3%
Yahoo! Sites 3,318 3,191 -4%
Microsoft Sites 2,829 2,761 -2%
Ask Network 531 527 -1%
AOL, Inc. 287 277 -3%

“Powered By” Reporting

In January, 68.4 percent of searches carried organic search results from Google (vs. 68.1 percent in December) while 26.5 percent of searches were powered by Bing (no change vs. December).

About comScore
comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital business analytics. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com/companyinfo.

Alabama Tourism Celebrates The Year of Food in 2012

If you own a business or restaurant in Alabama you may want to contact the Alabama Department of Tourism to see how you can participate in their Year of Food 2012 Celebration Events.  Your local CVB, Chamber of Commerce, and the Alabama Department of Tourism are great partners for you to associate with.

Year of Food Website 2012. foods

The Alabama Tourism Department will kick off its 2012 campaign, The Year of Alabama Food, on January 27, during the FoodBlogSouth event in Birmingham. The event is a conference for food writers, bloggers and photographers. The website, www.yearofalabamfood.com, launched Monday.

The tourism campaign will focus on award-winning chefs, farm-to-table, fresh gulf seafood and popular foods grown or made in Alabama. Some of the local food includes Belle Chevre Cheese from Elkmont, Conecuh sausage, Slocomb tomatoes and Dothan peanuts. This is the second food campaign by the tourism department, the first was in 2005 and received the award for best state tourism marketing campaign by the National Council of State Tourism Directors.

As part of the year of food, the tourism department will hold a statewide “Restaurant Week” August 17-26 during which locally owned and operated restaurants will be able to showcase their dishes by offering meals at a discount.

Tourism will also promote nearly 400 food festivals across the state and will create a new BBQ Trail, in addition to an updated “100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die” brochure.

“Food is popular with everyone and it has been one of our most successful campaigns. It was time to bring it back, but this time we want to highlight local food and our great chefs,” said tourism director Lee Sentell. “We have several new things planned for 2012 that we feel will showcase the best in food that Alabama has to offer.”

Food Festivals in the Alabama Calendar of Events

Visitors wishing to discover the local flavor of Sweet Home Alabama are invited to enjoy any of the more than 375 annual food festivals and events hosted by cities and towns across the state. Moon pies and mayhem set the stage for Mobile’s Mardi Gras celebration in February. Moulton celebrates the state’s agricultural heritage during the Chicken and Egg Festival in April. A smorgasbord of Southern goodness awaits visitors during the Slocomb Tomato Festival in June and the Russellville Watermelon Festival in August.

In September, Pinson hosts the Butterbean Festival and Tuskegee pays homage to scientist George Washington Carver during the Carver Sweet Potato Festival in October. The Break’N Bread/ Birmingham Food & Wine Festival is at Pepper Place Railroad Park in October. The National Shrimp Festival is held each October on the white sand beaches of Gulf Shores, and a barbecue competition highlights the Christmas on the River celebration in Demopolis in December. A complete list of 2012 food festivals and other events can be found online by visiting www.alabama.travel.  They will also be featured in the printed 2012 Alabama Calendar of Events available at the state’s eight welcome centers.

Celebrate Alabama Chefs and Award-Winning Restaurants

Travelers can discover the best in fine dining and country cooking restaurants in the South when they visit Chef Frank Stitt’s Highlands Bar and Grill and Chris and Idie Hastings’ Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, Martin’s Restaurant in Montgomery, Arricia Italian Trattoria & Bar in Auburn, and True in Mobile, which is owned and operated by renowned Chef Wesley True. Learn how Lucy Buffett, owner of Lulu’s in Gulf Shores, and other restaurateurs around the state are bringing the farm to the table to enhance your dining experience.

The popular “100 dishes to eat in Alabama before you die” brochure is being updated to include fresh menu selections and great local culinary destinations not previously featured. “We are excited about spotlighting lesser-known restaurants while continuing to showcase Southern classics, such as The Bright Star in Bessemer, named an American Classic by the James Beard Award Foundation,” said Sentell.

Tourism will also create a new BBQ Trail brochure that will list restaurants, joints and local chains. Some of the featured BBQ will include Big Bob Gibson’s n Decatur, SAW’s in Homewood, Full Moon, Jim N Nick’s and icons like Dreamland in Tuscaloosa and Golden Rule in Birmingham.


Visit Local Farmers Markets and Wineries

In addition to enjoying exciting food festivals and discovering great places to dine, Alabamians and visitors alike are encouraged to get off the interstates and major thoroughfares for a visit to local farms, farmers markets, and wineries. Visit any one of 135 state farmers markets and roadside stands. Sample the goat cheese crafted by Belle Chevre in Elkmont. Enjoy jellies and jams, produced by the folks in Alabama’s Black Belt and sold through places like Black Belt Treasures in Camden.

Discover the Alabama Wine Trail, featuring more than a dozen farm wineries, and explore culinary destinations such as Butlers Mill Restaurant in Graham and Rikard Mill near Monroeville, where you can watch cane syrup being made the old-fashioned way. To learn more about Alabama culinary destinations, visit www.alabama.travel to request free copies of the Alabama Vacation Guide and “100 dishes to eat in Alabama before you die” brochure.

The logo for the 2012 food-themed campaign, a tasty green tomato on a spoon, will be featured in print and television ads throughout the year and a dedicated website, www.yearofalabamafood.com, will launch in mid-January to showcase the local flavor that is uniquely Alabama.

For more information about the Year of Alabama Food visit www.yearofalabamafood.com.