Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?

Google Maps, MapQuest neck and neck

MapQuest has stopped Google Maps' market share gains for the time being. But Google Maps increasingly benefits from Google search results.

Stephen Shankland principal writer
Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and writes about processors, digital photography, AI, quantum computing, computer science, materials science, supercomputers, drones, browsers, 3D printing, USB, and new computing technology in general. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces. His first big scoop was about radioactive cat poop.
Expertise processors, semiconductors, web browsers, quantum computing, supercomputers, AI, 3D printing, drones, computer science, physics, programming, materials science, USB, UWB, Android, digital photography, science Credentials
  • I've been covering the technology industry for 24 years and was a science writer for five years before that. I've got deep expertise in microprocessors, digital photography, computer hardware and software, internet standards, web technology, and other dee
Stephen Shankland

MapQuest has forestalled Google Maps' steady encroachment on its online mapping market share over 2008--for now.

"In late December, it looked like Google Maps was ready to overtake MapQuest," said Hitwise analyst Heather Hopkins in a blog post Wednesday. But MapQuest has added some new features in recent months, "perhaps...helping MapQuest regain a foothold," she said.

Google Maps has steadily carved away MapQuest market share in the U.S., but hasn't attained the No. 1 spot.
Google Maps has steadily carved away MapQuest market share in the U.S., but hasn't attained the No. 1 spot. Hitwise

By February 7, MapQuest had 39.5 percent online mapping visits in the United States, compared to 35.7 percent for Google, Hitwise said.

MapQuest gets most of its traffic directly from its own site, but Google Maps gets a lot of traffic from small maps blended into Google's search results. "Sixty-one percent of visits to Google Maps came directly from Google last week," Hopkins said. And perhaps needless to say, Google remains the dominant search company by far, vastly outpacing AOL, which operates MapQuest and actually relies on Google for its own search results.

MapQuest is adding more new features, too. It plans to widen the map on its new map-focused site and add local blog feeds to its MapQuest Local site, for example.