Google dropped a few percentage points while Bing and Yahoo each gained a couple … but the bigger statistic from comScore’s monthly U.S. search rankings for March is that desktop search activity reached an all-time high.
The company’s latest report estimates that there were just under 20.4 billion searches during March — that’s desktop-only, and it’s an 11 percent increase from February. It’s also the first time comScore has ever estimated search activity be above 20 billion searches in a month. The previous record of 19.5 billion was set in January.
According to comScore’s measurement, core searches dropped for most of 2012. The March 2012 report pegged core search activity at about 18.4 billion searches, but that number fell to 16.4 billion by September. Here’s a chart of comScore’s reported figures for core search activity in the U.S. going back to January 2007 and including March 2013.
The 20.4 billion searches is a significant number because it doesn’t include mobile search. By all accounts, search is a popular and growing activity on mobile devices and was thought to be replacing desktop-based search. The comScore numbers should cause a rethinking on that point. (See the “related articles” below for more background on this.)
As for the actual search engine market share numbers, not much new to report there. Google dropped from 67.5 percent to 67.1 percent, while Bing and Yahoo both picked up a couple percentage points. That’s another record for Bing/Microsoft, too.