Yesterday, the digital marketing analysis firm comScore released its search market share report for June 2012. Google continues to hold over two thirds of the search market, while Bing gained a .2% market share from May and now represents 15.6% of the online search market. Bing’s gains came mostly at the expense of Yahoo; the long-time second fiddle in search slipped to holding a 13% market share.
Yahoo’s slide represented the biggest move in this month’s search market share numbers. Yahoo lost .4% of its May market share of 13.4% and extended a ten month long drop that started last year. Before their market share began its current slide, Yahoo held 16.3% of the online search market. It appears to be ready to cede its entire search market share to other search engines.
The users that are represented by Yahoo’s losses in the search market seem to be primarily converting to Bing. These gains are important to Bing because every gain in their search market share can lead to Bing’s Pay Per Click services commanding a higher price per advertising spot. Bing will not be scoffing at the opportunity to bring in more revenue from its Pay Per Click spots, but in terms of winning new users, Bing’s .2% market share gain most likely does not represent Bing winning users away from Google—Bing’s chief competitor.
Bing may have take over half of the .4% of the search market that Yahoo lost, but Bing will not be beating Google by converting Yahoo users. Bing and Yahoo merged in 2009 and by the end of 2010, all of Yahoo’s organic and paid search results were being served by Bing. Yahoo has stopped marketing its search product and now exists primarily as a web portal and email service. Yahoo Search users are most likely either using Yahoo Search because of their familiarity with Yahoo as a web portal and email service, or because they were already avoiding Google. Yahoo users who are committed to Yahoo as a web portal are unlikely to move to Bing. Bing does not function as a one-stop web portal with a front page that offers search, news, email and the many other services that appear on Yahoo.com. Other Yahoo Search users are most likely already looking for an alternative to Google; Bing gains little from winning users who were already avoiding Google.
The newest online search market share numbers show that Google continues to hold the final word in the online search discussion. Bing’s search results, being served by both Bing and Yahoo search, made up 28.6% of the online search market in June, while Google gained .1% from its May market share to grow its already massive share to an all time high of 66.8% of the online search market. Last month, the Bing-Yahoo combined share dropped .2% from its May 2012 total of 28.8% of the search market. The Bing-Yahoo merger was engineered to be a Google killer, but Google has continued to grow its market share in the two years since Bing and Yahoo joined forces. Bing grew its market share more than any other search engine from May to June, but Yahoo’s prolonged market share losses are killing Bing-Yahoo’s Google killing aspirations. It seems that Google is picking up enough of the users that Yahoo loses to not only maintain but continue to grow its search market share. Bing-Yahoo holds over a quarter of the online search market and is not to be ignored, but for now, Google continues to dictate the direction in which online search will be moving.
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