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Bing Gives Microsoft Renewed Search Traction

Although Google Sites retained their dominance of the US search engine market in 2009, the introduction of Bing gave Microsoft renewed search marketplace traction, according to the comScore Digital Year in Review.

Google and Microsoft Gain Search Share

Google Sites continued to hold a strong lead in the US search market in 2009. By the end of the year in December 2009, Google Sites held 65.7% US search engine market share, a 2.2-percentage-point improvement from their market share in December 2008, writes MarketingCharts.

The introduction of Bing in June 2009 provided an immediate, measurable boost to the search market penetration of Microsoft Sites. Between December 2008 and December 2009, market share for Microsoft Sites as a whole increased from 8.3% to 10.7% of all search engine queries. Virtually all of that growth occurred in the second half of 2009 and is attributable to consumers adopting Bing.

Yahoo Sites would appear to be the main victim of Microsoft Sites' search engine market share growth. Yahoo sites held approximately 20% search engine market share in December 2008, and saw that share dip to about 18% by December 2009. While Yahoo Sites did experience some negative growth in the first half of 2009, their growth curve steadily decreases in the second half of the year as Microsoft Sites' curve increases.

Ask Network and AOL LLC stayed relatively flat throughout the year, both beginning and ending 2009 with roughly 3% search market share and experiencing mild fluctuations during the year.

Microsoft Sites See Dramatic Upswing in Searches

Total US internet searches increased 16% during 2009, driven by a 6% increase in unique searchers and 10% increase in searchers performed per searcher. Microsoft Sites experienced led in volume increase with 49% growth in searches, driven by a 15% increase in unique searches and 30% increase in searches per searcher.

Google Sites had a 21% increase in searches, driven by a 9% increase in unique searches and 10% increase in searches per searcher. As indicated by its market share loss, Yahoo Sites experienced a disappointing 2% drop in searches and 5% decline in unique searchers. In one bright spot, searches per searcher on Yahoo Sites grew 3%.

AOL LLC had the worst search results of the five leading search engines. During 2009, AOL’s unique searchers declined 17%, searches per searcher declined 4%, and searches declined 20%.

Worldwide Online Search Grows 46%

The total worldwide online search market grew 46% in December 2009 compared to December 2008, according to earlier comScore qSearch data. During December 2009, Internet users conducted 131.3 billion online searches, compared to 89.7 billion online searches in December 2008. The US led all countries in total online searches, conducting 22.8 billion. This represents 22% growth from 18.7 billion in December 2008.

China ranked second with 13.3 billion searches, a 13% increase from 11.8 billion a year earlier. Japan came in at number three, growing 48% from 6.2 billion to 9.2 billion searches, followed by the UK, which grew 35% from 4.6 billion to 6.2 billion searches.

Google Sites was by far the most popular search property during December 2009, collecting 87.8 billion searches worldwide, a 58% increase from 55.6 billion in December 2008. Its closest competitor, Yahoo Sites, collected 9.4 billion searches worldwide, a 13% increase from December 2008. Rounding out the top five were Chinese search engine Baidu.com, growing 7% from 8 billion to 8.5 billion searches, Microsoft Sites, growing 70% from 2.4 billion to 4.1 billion searches, and eBay, growing 58% from 1.3 billion to 2.1 billion searches.

About the Survey: The comScore Digital Year in Review is based on comScore qSearch data which captures consumer search behavior at more than 150 search properties in 37 individual countries and worldwide, measuring the full breadth and depth of consumer search activity.

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