Google, Bing Market Shares Up, Yahoo Share Declines

Google, Bing Market Shares Up, Yahoo Share Declines


The September numbers released by ComScore last Wednesday show Google in the lead, after several months of slight decline. Bing follows with a slight incline and Yahoo, after months of increasing numbers, drops after its transition to Microsoft algorithms.

UBS, being the first to report this data, does not impute these numbers to the Yahoo alliance with Bing or Google Instant, and instead attributes Google’s boost to university students going back to school.

Google is gaining share, a 0.7 point increase from August, accounting for 66.1 percent of the market. Bing, Microsoft’s search engine, rose 0.7 point to 11.2 percent of “explicit core” searches.

September 2010 Search Share

  • Google: 66.1% (up 0.7 from 65.4%)
  • Yahoo: 16.7% (down 0.7 from 17.4%)
  • Bing: 11.2% (up 0.1 from 11.1%)
  • Ask: 3.7% (up 0.1 from 3.8%)
  • AOL: 2.3% (no change)

The search data is comprised of “explicit core” searches, or search keywords entered manually by users on a Web page. ComScore takes into account all of a search engine’s domains. For example, Google’s data includes search results from YouTube, Google News, Google Images etc.

Google Instant Search

The Google Instant Search hits are not included in the report, according to ComScore. Instant Search, launched earlier this month, displays search results in the Search Engine Results Pages before a user hits the enter key. Matching results appear while a search keyword is being typed.

Instant Search addresses Google’s key insight in Internet user behavior. People type slowly and read quickly. Meaning: users scan a results page while typing.

The biggest change is that users don’t have to finish typing their keyword terms, or press the “search” button, as the right content comes up much faster. The search can be changed as the user types, to match what he or she is looking for.

ComScore only counts the end result of the Instant Search: “To account for Google Instant, comScore has again changed methodology. “Explicit core search” essentially backs out Instant and only records a search when the user clicks a link or presses the enter button. “Core search” also records a search when users pause for 3 seconds to contemplate suggested Instant results.”

Yahoo – Bing Alliance

The search deal between Yahoo and Bing, presented in February this year, has been completed recently. ComScore accounts for searches on Yahoo performed by the Bing search engine. The alliance encompasses Yahoo’s transition to Bing’s search algorithms and “powered by” searches. ComScore also counteracts attempts by Microsoft and Yahoo to treat slideshows as search hits.

Search Data Questioned

Yahoo argues that Google’s relatively steep increase in market share is due to Instant Search. Shashi Seth, Sr. VP of Search & Marketplace at Yahoo mentions in his blog post: “Looking at comScore’s report, it appears to me that a majority of Google’s query growth in September (a month in which Google Instant was live for 20 days) came from precisely these kinds of interactions.”

Google claims that users scan a page in approximately users typically take 300 milliseconds between keystrokes to type, but only 30 milliseconds to glance at the results of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). If comScore counts search results after a 3 second pause, that means a user could have scanned a results page 10 times before making up his or her mind about which link to click on.


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