comScore Jan. 15 said Google and Microsoft grabbed more U.S. search market share from Yahoo in December, with Bing ascending to its greatest search share since August 2007. Google, which earlier this week threatened to close its search operations in China, rose to 65.7 percent from 65.6 percent in November 2009. Bing grew search share month-over-month to 10.7 percent from 10.3 percent. Yahoo continued to fall, down to 17.3 percent from 17.5 percent in November.
Researcher comScore Jan. 15 said Google and Microsoft grabbed
more U.S. search market share from Yahoo in December, with Bing ascending to
its greatest search share since August 2007.
Google, which earlier this week threatened to close its search
operations in China, rose to 65.7 percent from 65.6 percent in November 2009.
But Bing, which started at around 8 percent in June, grew search
share month-over-month to 10.7 percent from 10.3 percent. Bing's growth
was likely buoyed by a strong holiday shopping season as it lured
consumers in with
its Bing Cashback offering.
At 17.3 percent of U.S. share, Yahoo continued its
inexorable slide, down from 17.5 percent in November, from 18 percent in
October and 20.4 percent in November 2008.
AmTech analyst Ben Schachter said Yahoo may point to the lingering effect of the
loss of toolbar distribution deals with HP and Acer. However, Schacter wrote in
a Jan. 15 research note:
"There is no getting around the fact that the market
share trend for Yahoo is awful and will impact search revenue. Our biggest
concern is trying to find a bottom for Yahoo search share. Although the
deceleration in share loss this month may indicate that we are closer to a bottoming,
it is unclear how low it will go. Additionally, with Yahoo's share of total online
time and page views dropping meaningfully over the past few months, the company's
underlying fundamental usage trends are a growing concern for us."
Jefferies and Co. analyst Youssef Squali said that while Yahoo's
rate of loss seems to be moderating, the continuing roll-over of tool bar
partnerships is likely to further depress its market share short-term. Squali
"That said, management has reiterated its resolve to
stem the decline and reinvigorate query growth in 2010 through the launch of
product upgrades and better user experience. Our expectations for flat to slightly up
single digit growth search revenue (gross) in 2010 may prove to be too optimistic
if Yahoo keeps losing market share even if we see improvement in pricing."
If Yahoo continues to lose
search share, the U.S. search market will be a two-horse race, with Google
leading Microsoft by multiple lengths. This will be made somewhat moot with
Microsoft and Yahoo's search deal, which is being scrutinized by
the Department of Justice.
In this deal, Bing would power Yahoo's search results. If
the two combined search today, they would hold 28 percent of the U.S. market,
less than half of Google's share. Google reports fourth quarter 2009 fiscal
results on Thursday, Jan. 21 after the close of the stock market.
Squali said he expects Google to provide Q4 results ahead
of expectations. He sees net revenues, excluding traffic acquisition costs at
$4.94 billion, with EBITDA at $3.05 billion and earnings per share of $6.60,
versus the analyst consensus for those figures of $4.87 billion, $3.03 billion
and $6.43, respectively.
ComScore's figures varied from that of market researcher Nielsen,
which found that while Google gained and Yahoo fell, Bing fell as well.
researcher said Google's December search share tallied 67.3 percent. Nielsen said
Yahoo dropped, to 14.4 percent from 15.3 percent. Bing dipped to 9.9 percent
from 10.7 percent in November.