Microsoft Search Growth Slows

March 11, 2010

Following strong Bing-fueled growth in January 2010, Microsoft Sites only registered 0.2-percentage-point search market share growth last month, according to comScore qSearch data.

Google Retains Two-Thirds Core Search Market Share
Google Sites continued to hold roughly two-thirds of the core search market (65.5%) in February 2010, rising 0.1 percentage points from the previous month. Yahoo Sites came in second, falling from 17% market share to 16.8%. Microsoft Sites retained their third place ranking with 11.5% market share, up from 11.3%. Ask Network and AOL LLC rounded out the monthly top five with essentially unchanged results from January 2010.

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Americans Conduct Fewer Core Searches
Americans conducted a total of about 14.5 billion core searches last month, down 5% from about 15 billion core searches in January 2010. Google Sites had the most core searches, 9.47 billion, down 4% from 9.92 billion the previous month. Microsoft Sites had the smallest core search loss percentage-wise, falling 3% from 1.71 billion to 1.66 billion.

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Google Dominates Expanded Search Query Rankings
In the February 2010 analysis of the top properties where search activity is observed, Google Sites led the search market with 13.5 billion search queries, followed by Yahoo Sites with 2.5 billion queries and Microsoft Sites with 1.7 billion. Facebook.com experienced significant growth during the month with a 10% increase to 436 million searches, while craigslist, inc. jumped one position to number five with 629 million searches.

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Every top property experienced a decrease in total expanded search queries except for Microsoft/All Other, which remained virtually flat at 222 million search queries.

Bing Gives Microsoft Sites January Boost
The increasing popularity of Microsoft’s Bing search engine fueled growth in US consumers’ usage of Microsoft Sites for online searches during January 2010, according to previous comScore qSearch data. Microsoft Sites appear to have benefited from Google and Yahoo’s reduced market share in January, retaining third place but growing its monthly share from 10.7% to 11.3%.

Although Microsoft Sites retained their third-place ranking for total number of core searches, Americans conducted 9% more searches using Microsoft Sites in January 2010 (1.71 billion) than in December 2009 (1.58 billion). In addition, Bing experienced large growth during the month in query volume, with an 11% increase to reach more than 1.5 billion searches.

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