Continuing from previous search stats from Hitwise and Compete, comScore is now out with search engine share in the United States for March 2008. Similar to Hitwise, Google hits a new high while Microsoft and Yahoo hit new lows. But in terms of raw searches, Yahoo and Microsoft showed gains.
Searches that happened on the five "core" search engines that comScore tracks stack up as follows:
- Google: 59.8%
- Yahoo: 21.3%
- Microsoft: 9.4%
- AOL: 4.8%
- Ask: 4.7%
The trend over time? Here’s data going back to June 2007 (I don’t have previous months because comScore changed its methodology, and I don’t have adjusted figures prior to that period):
Google set a new high in the period shown while Yahoo and Microsoft set new lows. Both had previous lows in Feb. 2008, 21.6% and 9.4%, respectively. Google’s previous high was in Feb. 2008 at 59.2%.
How about number of searches versus market share?
- Google: 6.4 billion
- Yahoo: 2.3 billion
- Microsoft: 1 billion
- AOL: 521 million
- Ask: 503 million
As you can see, despite "dips" for Yahoo and Microsoft, comScore has them both gaining in number of searches for March 2008. It’s just that Google gained so many more searches that on a percentage basis, it got a bigger slice of the pie.
As a reminder, my general rules when evaluating popularity stats:
- Avoid drawing conclusions based on month-to-month comparisons. Lots
of things can cause one month’s figures to be incomparable to another month.
It’s better to see the trend across multiple months in a row.
- Avoid drawing conclusions based on one ratings service’s figures.
Each service has a unique methodology used to create popularity estimates.
This means that ratings will rarely be the same between services. However, a
trend that you see reflected across two or more services may give you faith in
trusting that trend.
- Consider Actual Number Of Searches: While share for a particular search engine might drop, the raw number of searches might still be going up (and thus they might be earning more money, despite a share drop). This is because the "pie" of searches keeps growing, so even a smaller slice of the pie might be more than a bigger slice in the past. See Nielsen NetRatings: August 2007 Search Share Puts Google On Top, Microsoft Holding Gains for a further explanation of this.