While Google remained the dominant US search engine in December 2010, it experienced declines in year-over-year market share, query volume and unique visitors, according to new data from Compete. Most significantly, Google’s unique search visitor total dropped 16.6%, from 184 million in December 2009 to 154 million in December 2010.
In addition, Google saw its year-over-year query volume decline 0.6%, from 10.52 billion to 10.47 billion; and its year-over-year market share drop 11%, from 73.9% to 65.7%. On a month-over-month basis, Google actually experienced a 4.8% rise in unique visitors and 0.2% increase in query volume, although market share declined 1%.
Search activity across the five engines saw more activity in December, with an 11.8% increase in overall query volume from December 2009 and 1.3% increase from November 2010.
Microsoft search, primarily reflecting usage of the Bing search engine, has dramatically grown year-over-year. Unique visitors increased 35.2%, from 62 million to 84 million, query volume grew 69.4%, from 1.4 billion to 2.37 billion, and market share grew 52%, from 9.8% to 14.9%. Month-over-month growth was healthy but much smaller, likely indicating Bing is reaching maturity now it has been generally available since June 2009.
Interestingly, Yahoo’s search query volume dramatically rose 22.7% year-over-year, from 1.94 billion to 2.38 billion, but its year-over-year growth in market share was much more modest (a still healthy 9.5%), and its unique visitor total dropped 3.1%, from 89 million to 86 million. On a month-over-month basis, Yahoo showed modest growth in all three areas.
Bing Powered engines (including both Bing and Yahoo) as a whole grew 4.1% month-over-month in query volume, driving its total market share up almost 3%. Bing-powered engines took a combined 29.8% of the total search market. Compete does not compile year-over-year or unique visitor statistics for Bing-powered search engines.
While Ask.com’s query volume total in December 2010 was a comparatively low 595 million, this was 100.3% more than 297 million a year earlier. Unique visitors grew 79.5 % in that time frame, from 47 million to 85 million.
AOL recorded a 34.4% increase in search query volume between December 2009 and December 2010, jumping from 84 million to 113 million queries. Neither Ask.com nor AOL reported any other exceptional month-over-month or year-over-year growth figures.
Microsoft, which saw its total core search engine query volume drop 4% month-over-month in November 2010, rebounded strongly in December 2010 with a 9% gain, according to recent comScore qSearch data. As tabulated by comScore, Microsoft’s core search queries grew from about 2.01 billion to 2.18 billion, placing it third overall.
Topics: Analytics & Automated, Data-driven, Local & Directories / Small Biz, Media & Entertainment, Online, Paid Search, Retail & E-Commerce, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Top Gains in Unique Visitor, Top Sites by Unique Visitor, Top US Web Properties
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