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January 29, 2008

December 2007 : Top 10 US Market Share Search Engines


Click to listen to this postThe Nielsen Netratings December 2007 search market share data report has been released, and you are going to be a bit surprised at the results. We post this search market data every month, and have been doing so since April 2007. This data can have some very interesting trends and twists. If you would like to view the past results we have posted, just use the "US Search Market Data" link in the left menu for all of the reports.

Most people will be interested to know that Google lost some ground. I guess I am a bit surprised as well. After coming on strong in November with a 2.2% growth over October's share of searches, Google for the first time in a long time lost some market share in December 2007. Google clocks in with 56.3% of all December US searches falling from November's 57.7%. Where did Google's share make off to? You might be surprised.

Actually, there is no single culprit who swept away some of Google's market share. Rather, MSN / Live, Yahoo, and AOL all took a bite from Google's pie in Dec. 2007. MSN / Live sneaks away with a 1.8% market share increase for December. Most webmasters are not likely to be surprised about this.. We have been seeing the traffic, indexing, and crawl rates of MSN / Live coming up steady for a couple of months. MSN / Live checks in at 13.8% of the US searches for December, and that's right back up to their October 2007 share mark. No one can dispute, MSN / Live is really doing a nice job all around.

Despite all the troubles at home Yahoo was up .2% and trending positively once again. I personally think with 17.9% of the market share, this "red haired stepchild" has the best shot at giving Google a run for their money.. If they could just get it together. We will likely see Yahoo's share fall a bit in Jan. 2008 due to the bad press and complete lack of effort on the companies part to improve their position. It almost feels like they have thrown in the towel.

Yes, we all realize AOL delivers Google results, but has anyone noticed the steady and solid increase of their search market share? Check this out.. October 3.7%; November 4.5%; and now December 4.7%. Agreed, AOL is not back to it's September 2007 share of 6.0%, but they are trending up in a very solid way. AOL made big changes in 2007, and clearly they have been positive ones. AOL's following is very loyal, and tends to use the AOL browser for everything. It is not at all uncommon to find regular AOL users who do not even know how to operate Internet Explorer, or even realize they have IE on their PC.. Much less any other browser.

Ask.com made some progress in October 2007 increasing their market share by .7% over the previous month and a share of 2.9%. They have however, been giving that share right back ever since. Ask lost .2% in November, and now for December 2007 gives up another .5% versus Nov. Ask's market share of searches for December 2007 is 2.2% which puts them right back to their September mark. I really don't think Ask has the stuff to ever grow their market effectively. They have spent a ton of cash on advertising and tried to scoop on Google's privacy problem with the "Ask Eraser", but nothing changes the fact that they have outdated results, do not crawl enough, their index is too small, and their search pages are entirely too slow. Ask's issues are very fundamental in nature, yet seem to escape them entirely.

Check back next month to see how the big dogs stack up and how they are trending, we publish this every month.

Peace and SEO

Melanie Prough

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4 Comments:

Marcus said...

I didn't know Comcast Search existed. Going to have to give it a try to the alternative engines I use.

Nate said...

Very interesting post. I actually didn't realize that the market was close. I though most people just used Google.

www.uwriting.com

Melanie Prough "Baby" said...

Hi Marcus,
You know I have never checked it out. My sites get a small bit of traffic from them and other small engines like them, but I never searched them out. The only "alternative" or smaller engine I search occasionally is Alta Vista.

--Melanie

Melanie Prough "Baby" said...

Hi Nate,
It's not really very close I don't think. Yahoo and MSN/Live have just even share to be a nuisance to Google. =-) Clearly, most US searches are Google, but studies are beginning to show are very large number of searchers (Not just in the US) who search 2 different engines... Some even 3. Users are becoming more aware of the strengths and weaknesses or each engine, and at the very least digging deeper for their answers.

--Melanie