According to a Bloomberg article covering comScore numbers (cough cough), Yahoo has gained search share over the last month while Microsoft has dropped a bit. Yahoo now has a 20.2% search market share, up from 19.6%, with Microsoft dropping to 8.5%, down from 8.9%. Google also showed a small dip, dropping one tenth of a percentage point down to 62.9% from 63%.
Why exactly, given Yahoo’s troubles with keeping employees, keeping their stocks up and keeping themselves from being takenover; why would Yahoo search share be increasing?
I believe it is because of multiple reasons where Yahoo still benefits as being an Internet start page and extremely popular content network :
- The State of the Economy : Yahoo Finance and Message Boards are still going strong and given the ups and downs of the Dow over the past few months, it makes sense that more people were using Yahoo Finance and its channels, in turn; searching more.
- The State of the Nation : We’re in the middle of one heated election, not only between Obama and McCain, but also for Congressional seats around the country. Yahoo News and its Political channels are benefiting from the national and global interest in this year’s elections and this could also be increasing the amount of Yahoo Searches.
- The Holiday Shopping Season : Let’s not forget Yahoo Shopping and its popularity as a shopping portal. Although the economy is weak, people still have to buy presents, perhaps this also is leading to an increase in Yahoo Search usage.
It’s easy to forget that search goes beyond the toolbar or the homepage, and lifestyle and life choices do lend an influence in the behavior of the everyday user. The Yahoo Network is connected by three things : email, Messenger and search. Searching for news, products and stock quotes are targeted queries across many channels which can lead to increases in search usage. Content is still Yahoo’s bargaining chip, and if capitalized upon, does not have to be the last chip on the table (although it sure does feel like it right now).
[Hat tip to Frank Watson of SEW]