On Friday afternoon, ComScore released the October 2011 search engine market share data, which indicates that Google is continuing to gain market share and establish further dominance in the search market. The October report, which lists Google capturing 65.6% of the search market share, also indicated that Yahoo (Bing powered) fell to 15.2% and Bing grew slightly to 14.8%. However, since Bing powers both the Microsoft web properties and Yahoo, the net impact was a 0.2% reduction in Bing powered searches.
Although Bing recently launched adaptive search and several other new innovative features, the overall number of “Bing powered” searches are dropping. Qi Lu, Microsoft’s President of Online Services, has stated on multiple occasions that Bing is attempting to leverage strategic partnerships to achieve a better semantic understanding of the web and move away from “noun based” search queries. With recent news indicating that Microsoft Bing is losing over $11 million per day, the news that Google is now gaining market share from Bing and its search partners is especially alarming.
Upon careful analysis of the ComScore report, it appears that Google gained 0.3% from Yahoo and Microsoft gained 0.1% from Ask. AOL held steady with a small 1.5% of market share.
Overall, the number of explicit core searches grew from 17.1 billion in September to approximately 18.08 billion searches in October, which indicates the overall search market is performing well and growing. Since Yahoo’s “contextual searches” skewed data last summer, ComScore has shifted to measuring U.S. explicit core searches. The explicit core searches exclude contextual searches that do not reflect user intent.