New Comscore Methodology Reduces Search Market Share for Microsoft and Yahoo

  |  August 20, 2010   |  Comments

Microsoft and Yahoo's combined search share drops over four percentage points under new measurement approach.

Microsoft and Yahoo's combined search market share has dropped from 32.7 percent to 28.1 percent, according to comScore, as a result of alterations to its data collection methodology.

Last month, comScore announced it would revise the way it collects data for its monthly search market share reports to account for Microsoft and Yahoo's recent practices of publishing contextual links to search queries on their owned and operated properties. The measurement firm suggested that behavior was inflating the two companies' share of actual user-driven searches, and did not "reflect specific user intent to interact with search results."

In July, therefore, it began publishing "explicit core search share" data alongside data gleaned from its old methodology, which omits such contextual searches.

Based on the old methodology, comScore estimates Google lost market share for a second consecutive month, accounting for 61.6 percent of U.S. searches. Meanwhile Yahoo grew its share by a percentage point over the same period, giving the search alliance partnership between itself and Microsoft a total market share of 32.7 percent of searches.

Share of U.S. Searches Among Leading Providers, July 2010 vs June 2010
  Share of Searches (%)
Domain June 2010 July 2010

Month-over-Month Point
Change (%)

Google Sites 62.6 61.6 -1.0
Yahoo Sites 18.9 20.1 1.2
Microsoft Sites 12.7 12.6 -0.1
Ask Network 3.6 3.5 -0.1
AOL Network 2.2 2.2 0.0
Note: Data is based on the five major search engines including partner searches and cross-channel 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 the core search numbers.
Source: comScore 2010

ComScore's new methodology tells a similar story with regards to changes in market share, with Yahoo gaining searches at Google's expense. It tells a very different one with regards to overall market share, though, with Yahoo and Microsoft accounting for a total of 28.1 percent of searches - a much smaller number than the 32.7 percent reported by the old methodology, cited frequently by executives at the two firms.

Explicit Core Share* of U.S. Searches Among Leading Providers, July 2010 vs June 2010
  Share of Searches (%)
Domain June 2010 July 2010

Month-over-Month Point
Change (%)

Google Sites 66.2 65.8 -0.4
Yahoo Sites 16.7 17.1 0.4
Microsoft Sites 11.0 11.0 0.0
Ask Network 3.8 3.8 0.0
AOL Network 2.4 2.3 -0.1

Note: Data is based on the five major search engines including partner searches and cross-channel 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 the core search numbers.

*Excludes contextually driven searches that do not reflect specific user intent to interact with search results.

Source: comScore 2010

 

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jack Marshall

Jack Marshall was a staff writer and stats editor for ClickZ News from 2007 until August 2011. 

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