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1/16/2007
03:56 PM
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Google And Yahoo Gain Search Share

Microsoft saw its U.S. search share slip half a percentage point from 11% to 10.5%, despite its ongoing effort to win more of the online search market.

Google and Yahoo continue to increase their share of the online U.S. search market share at the expense of competing search engines.

Last December, Google sites fielded 47.4% of U.S. search queries, a 0.4 percentage point rise from November 2006, according to comScore Networks, an Internet metrics company. Yahoo sites in December saw 28.5% of U.S. search queries, a 0.3 percentage point increase from the previous month.

This is particularly good news for Yahoo, which in December opened its upgraded Panama search marketing platform to new advertisers. A Yahoo spokesperson wasn't immediately available for comment.

It's not so encouraging for Microsoft, which saw its U.S. search share slip half a percentage point from 11% to 10.5% despite its ongoing effort to win more of the online search market. Previous months have seen a similar decline from Microsoft, according to figures published by comScore, HitWise, and Nielsen/NetRatings. Whether the release of Microsoft Vista will reverse this trend remains to be seen.

Even worse perhaps for Microsoft is that comScore's numbers seem to underestimate the extent of Google's dominance. Using statistics supplied by Hitwise, another Internet metrics firm, Google captured 63.15% of U.S. searches in December. Yahoo, MSN/Live.com, and Ask had 21.62%, 9.46%, and 3.72% of the U.S. search market, respectively.

At InformationWeek.com last December, Google's share of search engine referrals -- a related but not identical figure to total searches performed -- was even larger. Google.com was the source of 63.7% of search engine referrals to our site, and other Google properties from Canada, India, and the U.K. accounted for an additional 9.4% of search referrals. Yahoo was the source of 15.5% of searches that brought users to our site. MSN brought in 1.9% of our visitors, while Live.com brought in 0.7%.

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