Google Maps is creeping closer to MapQuest in traffic, some newly released analysis suggests.
Hitwise found Google Maps actually caught up with MapQuest for a short time in late December. MapQuest somehow regained its momentum, though, and has reasserted its lead somewhat since then. Still, the race is growing increasingly close.
As of last week, MapQuest had 11 percent more traffic than Google Maps, according to Hitwise’s data.
Interestingly (but perhaps not surprisingly), Google Maps is dominating when it comes to specific location-based search terms. Nearly two-thirds of Google Maps’ traffic comes from Google Search, the data indicates. Google Maps received visits from 72,074 unique search terms, compared to only 11,466 for MapQuest.
The reason? MapQuest, it seems, gets the majority of its search traffic from searches for its own name (or variations on it). People search for “mapquest” or “mapquest driving directions.” Google Maps, having the advantage of being more integrated into Google Search, gets more varied and location-specific references rather than just people looking for the service in general.