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Danny Goodwin

Yahoo Search Market Share Losing Streak Extends to 8 Months

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Google Bing Yahoo logosYahoo’s share of the U.S. search engine market continued to further dwindle in April, continuing a downward slide that began eight months ago in September, according to comScore – though Experian Hitwise paints a somewhat different picture.

Yahoo’s search share fell to 13.5 percent in April, down from 13.7 percent in March – both new lows for the struggling company. Last April, Yahoo's search market share stood at 15.9 percent, according to comScore.

However, Yahoo showed both monthly and year-over-year gains according to Experian Hitwise’s figures. Yahoo saw 15.69 percent of searches in April (up from 14.99 percent in March), which is also an increase over last April’s 14.61 percent share.

Both comScore and Experian agreed that Yahoo’s search partner Bing, which powers Yahoo’s organic and paid search results, increased its search market share in April. Bing upped its share from 15.3 percent in March to 15.4 percent in April, according to comScore; or 13.49 percent in March to 14.32 percent in April, according to Experian Hitwise.

Though news that Bing-powered search hit 30 percent made some headlines, it’s really nothing new, considering Bing-powered search hit this mark in March 2011, according to Experian Hitwise. For April, comScore reported Bing-powered searches held steady, accounting for 25.9 percent of all searches, but still nowhere near the 68.7 percent of searches Google powered in April.

Speaking of Google, the dominant search engine saw slight gain as well, accounting for 66.5 percent of searches in April (up from 66.4 percent in March), comScore reported. Google once again came close to hitting its highest recorded search share of 66.6 percent for the second time, last seen in December 2010.

Again, Experian Hitwise offered a slightly different picture, reporting that Google dropped to 64.42 percent in April (down from 66.69 percent in March) and down from 67.82 percent year-over-year.

Rounding out the bottom of the search engine rankings, Ask and AOL held steady in April, at 3 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively, comScore reported.

More than 17.1 billion “explicit core” searches were conducted in April, down from 18.4 billion in March. Google ranked first with 11.4 billion searches (down from 12.2 billion in March); Bing with 2.6 billion (down from 2.8 billion); Yahoo with 2.3 billion (down from 2.5 billion); Ask with 511 million (down from 555 million); and AOL with 271 million (down from 285 million).

percentage-clicks-by-keywords-hitwise-april-2012

Hitwise also reported on the percentages of clicks broken down by the number of search keywords. Longer queries of five to eight words jumped by 2 percent in April as compared to March, while the number of one-word searches has increased 19 percent from 24.11 percent to 28.63 percent year-over-year, likely thanks to the rise of smartphones and mobile search.


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