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Google Losing Search Share? To … Microsoft?

By - January 21, 2008

Wow! If only I trusted Nielsen’s numbers, this would be a big story…

Google garnered a 56.3% share of the U.S. search market in December, compared with a 57.7% share in the previous month, according to Nielsen. Yahoo Inc., meanwhile, saw its share in December fall slightly to 17.7%, compared with 17.9% in November…Microsoft Corp. was the only company among the three largest search providers to see an increase in December, as its share rose to 13.8% of the U.S. market from 12% the previous month, according to Nielsen.

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  • Rob Phillips

    If the figures are correct then its not beyond reason to think that the “blip” is mainly down to one thing… a turning point in the publics perception of the company.

    I was at an industry conference last week and was surprised with the reaction of the audience to the brand. It is now seen by many as “too powerful”. This is exactly what happenned with Microsoft on the desktop.

    Question: When does a Google become a Microsoft?

    If a change of perception is in the air then it could be a dangerous time for Google. It doesnt have total supremacy of the market like MSFT had. The change will start with the IT professionals and Marketeers and then take off from there.

    All this being the case it would be interesting to see how long it takes a “blip” to become something much bigger.

    Personally, i would like to see the marekt share of all the main players equalise out a little. Competition moves things forward.

  • webconnoisseur

    It will be interesting to see what ComScore, Hitwise & others report.

  • Desire Athow

    Hey, guess what…. According to Alexa (http://www.alexa.com/data/details/traffic_details/google.com), Google lost two places and Microsoft gained one seat (and Youtube as well)… Same for the page views. Compete does not show the same trend…

  • Devan

    Even if Nielsen were fairly accurate, wouldn’t the 1% changes be within margins of error?

  • Xin

    I remember you predicted this day would come a couple of years ago, John ;-)

  • http://www.thomaslshaffer.com thomas

    I don’t see why this couldn’t be true. A big portion of searches from Microsoft originate from the msn homepage. With the holidays, subprime fallout, and recession talks, the opportunity for more searches based on the MSN homepage stories is quite likely.

    Another issue is that MSFT is working hard to improve that query share, one “blip” at a time. Relevancy is getting better, advertisers see the ROI advantages, so there is some momentum building from within Redmond.

    Sure, 1% is within margin of error, but wouldn’t that be a constant?

  • ce3973

    I would still like to see how many legitamite searches are conducted on Google, Yahoo and the other majors without the search bar being used in place of the explorer address bar.

    You don’t now how many customers I visit on a daily basis that go to google and type in a url into the search bar. I want to know what THAT percentage represents.

  • Michael Martinez

    Nielsen, Hitwise, comScore, and Compete. None of them really agree on search market share and none of them do a very good job of analyzing it, although recent shifts in metrics that include reporting number of visitors and time spent on site are more informative than the ridiculous number of searches performed.

    People search more on Google than on other services. The question should be, Why? I don’t think there is only one answer, but it would be great to see a definitive analysis of why people spend so much time on Google versus the other major search engines.

    Microsoft’s Live.com actually receives more than half as many visitors as Google. If you add in MSN’s visitors then Microsoft is slamming Google into the ropes. And Yahoo! continues to receive more visitors than Google.

    The real story is not how many queries are performed. The real story (the untold story) is who uses each search engine, why, and where do they go from there?

  • Philippe

    There is only one question: who returns the best results ?
    People don’t use a search engine without reason ;) . If results doesn’t answer correctly, they give up search engine. that’s all.
    Although spamindexing is important on some keywords, Google gives always better answers than Yahoo or MSN. So whatever alexa or any website say, you have just to request some keywords on each search engine and look at the results. The one you prefer is the better, for you and for anybone else.

  • Desire Athow

    Comscore report is out for December 2007. http://www.comscore.com/press/release.asp?press=2016. Google’s the only loser in the top 4, albeit by a very tiny fraction. Some might say that there’s a 1 percent error margin in there and they might be right