Google Loses Search Market Share … to Yahoo?!

Posted: August 16, 2009 in google, microsoft, page rank, search

A week and a half ago, we highlighted numbers from StatCounter that demonstrated that Google was losing market share to Bing. This made sense: Bing (Bing) is a new search engine with heavy marketing and compelling features.

Numbers released by Nielsen tell a similar story: while Google (Google) grew from June to July, it still lost market share to its competitors – from 66.1% in June to 64.8% in July, a 1.3 percentage point drop. However, a closer look at the numbers reveals that Bing wasn’t the primary culprit – it was Yahoo which stole Google’s market share.

Let’s put the numbers into perspective. Here are the June 2009 stats:

You can see that Google has 66.1% of the market, with Yahoo in second place at 16.2% and Bing in third at 8.8%. Now here are the July numbers:

Searches increased by 5% in July, but while all the major search engines grew, Yahoo’s growth shot up by 11%. The result is that Yahoo gained 0.9% market share, up to 17.1%. Bing had an uptick of 0.2% to reach 9%. According to the Nielsen numbers, it was Yahoo, not Bing, that dealt the damage to Google.

It does make sense, when you think about it. Yahoo has really been in the spotlight this month for its search deal with Microsoft and the new Yahoo homepage. Still, 11% growth is enormous and somewhat unexpected.

In the end, it doesn’t matter to Microsoft who takes searchers away from Google, just as long as they are taken away. Will this trend continue in August? Will Bing be able to keep up its growth? Or will the new Google search engine (Google Caffeine) change the game once again? The search engine landscape keeps getting more complex and more intriguing.

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