Research firms may differ by a few percentage points here or there, but none dispute Google’s continued domination of the search market, or Yahoo!’s hold on second place.
Further, all agree that Bing is slowly but steadily inching up in share.
comScore qSearch reported that Microsoft sites picked up 0.4 percentage points in share in August 2009 versus July, while Google and AOL dipped slightly.
That translated into a 7% gain in searches performed on Microsoft sites, compared with a 3% rise in total search queries. Google and Yahoo! each saw a 2% bump in searches between July and August.
Nielsen Online agreed with comScore on Google’s 64.6% share of the market, but pegged Yahoo! a few points lower and Bing somewhat higher, at 10.7%. That was an increase for Microsoft sites from 8.8% of total searches in June 2009 and 9% in July.
Google snatched more than 70% of the search market between early August and early September, according to Experian Hitwise. The research firm reported an increase in share for Bing, from 8.58% of the market in the four weeks ending August 8 to 9.6% in the four weeks ending September 5.
It can be difficult to get Internet users to switch their search engine usage, but Microsoft is hoping to convince consumers to look more toward Bing in the future. James Colborn, director at Microsoft Advertising, told MediaPost that they were already seeing search volume rise, along with a nearly 40% increase in search click-throughs.
More searches means more share of a valuable market. eMarketer pegs search ad spending at nearly one-half of total US online ad spending in 2009, with spending growth of more than 13% predicted for this year to reach $12 billion.
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