Robert Peck (Bear Stearns) analysis of recent Comscore search share numbers:
GOOGLE: SIGNIFICANT SHARE GAIN AT THE EXPENSE OF EVERYONE ELSE. According to comScore data release yesterday, Google once again posted solid domestic market share gains of 140 bps in April 07 to reach domestic market share at 49.7%, up from 48.3% in March 07. Google grew search queries by 27% YoY in March 07. While this growth level almost triples the industry growth at 10.5% YoY, it continued the deceleration trajectory of Google’s YoY growth rate. Q/Q, Google searches grew 12% (April over January), tracking ahead of our top line seq. growth projection of 6% for 2Q07.
· YAHOO. Google’s share gain came at the expense of almost all top search sites and Yahoo! took the largest hit as it lost 70 bps in market share and came in at 26.8% in April 07. Yahoo continued to be the second fastest growing search site YoY among the top five with growth of 5.7% YoY, down significantly from the 12.7% reported in March 07. However, Yahoo’s YoY growth is still behind that of the industry at 10.5%. Q/Q, Yahoo searches grew 2%, tracking behind our seq. growth projection for search revenues at 4% for 2Q07.
· MSN, AOL & ASK. MSN posted 60bps share loss facing Google’s strong share gain and came in at 10.3%. AOL stayed flat at 5%; however, we think this could be aided by the addition of several sub-channels by comScore. Ask Network lost 10bps and came in at 5.1% in April 07. Ask.com’s market share, on the other hand, remained flat at 2.2% in April 07. While Ask Network’s search queries were down slightly YoY, Ask.com search queries grew 2% YoY.
· SEARCHES PER SEARCHER. We took a look at monthly searches per searcher as Google has stated this metric is important as it shows mind share. Google is leading the pack and came in at an average of 31 searches per searcher per month. Yahoo came in at a distant second with 22 searches per searcher per month while MSN, AOL and Ask were all around the low teen vicinity.