According to Compete's December Search Market Share report, only Google and Ask improved over December 2005, and Ask just barely did so. The biggest loss was seen by AOL, then MSN/Live, then Yahoo and Dogpile.
Compete analyst Jeremy Crane notes that AOL seems to have turned the corner back in August, and has grown market share for each of the past 4 months. "Unfortunately for AOL there's a pretty substantial climb to get back to year-ago market share levels," he said.
Ask had the biggest month-to-month slide, after a steady climb in previous months. Yahoo had a big slide in November, which lessened in December.
ComScore's December report came out this week as well.
Compete is also starting a new feature in its monthly reporting: ranking the top ten retailer-related searches. The terms are ranked in relative order, according to where they appear in the overall list of search terms used in the market on each of the engines. Then Compete compared that to the relative ranking according to each associated site's unique visitors.
The top two terms were the same across the engines: eBay and Walmart. The 3,4 and 5 spots were held on one or another engine by Best Buy, Target and Amazon. When correlated with overall traffic, it becomes apparent that Amazon and Sears did not fare as well in search results as they do in overall traffic. Crane leaves that topic to discuss another day.