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Microsoft Overtakes Yahoo in Search Market Share

For the first time in Microsoft's search business history (which includes Bing and other search engines), the company has claimed a higher U.S. market share than Yahoo, according to a market analysis by comScore.

Microsoft's search engine business claimed 15.1 percent (up 0.1 percent from the previous month's numbers) of the market in December, while Yahoo accrued 14.5 percent -- a decrease of 0.6 percent over November's figures. According to the analytical firm, Microsoft's search sites received 2.75 billion explicit core search queries to Yahoo's 2.64 billion search requests. comScore defines an explicit core search as any search total that "...excludes contextually driven searches that do not reflect specific user intent to interact with the search results."

One reason for the flip-flop of Microsoft and Yahoo on the market share charts can be directly connected to the 2009 deal inked by both companies that provided Yahoo with Bing search engine technology.

While Microsoft's move to second place in the U.S. search market may seem like a victory, it still lost ground to the first-place Google for the month, which increased its market share for the month by half a percent and finished December with 65.9 percent ( over 12 billion search requests).

However, for Microsoft, and specifically its Bing engine, which lost an estimated $494 million in operating costs in the first fiscal quarter of 2012, the gap between it and Google has closed quite a distance since the 2009 deal with Yahoo -- Google had 85 percent of the search market share during that time.

Search Company Core Search Share Nov 2011 Core Search Share Dec. 2011
Google

65.4%

65.9%
Microsoft

15.0%

15.1%

Yahoo

15.1%

14.5%

Ask Network

2.9%

2.9%

AOL

1.6%

1.6%

Figures courtesy of comScore.

About the Author

Chris Paoli is the site producer for Redmondmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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