Google notched 66.3 percent search share, with Microsoft Bing growing to 11.5 percent. Analysts say Google Instant has given the search engine leader a lift, but the accuracy of the counting remains unclear.
its search share to 66.3 percent through October,
from 66.1 percent in September, with challenger Microsoft Bing growing from
11.2 percent to 11.5 percent over the same period.
the total queries powered by Google's engine on partner
sites, such as AOL and Ask, rose a touch, to
69.2 percent, from 69.1 percent for the month.
Susquehanna Research suggested Google's Instant predictive search
, which lets users see
results as they type their query, "appears to have had a favorable impact
on overall core query volumes" in its first full month of operation.
However, several Instant searches
may have been excluded from explicit core
ComScore counts explicit searches as those in which a user hits
"enter," clicks on an algorithmic or sponsored result, clicks one of
the refinement links, or executes a query by clicking on a vertical search tab.
If a query occurs without such an explicit action or includes a
"pause" of at least three seconds-such as would occur because of a
contextual shortcut or slideshow-it it is excluded from explicit core query
"If we assume that all of Google's nonexplicit searches are a result of
Instant searches, and are not contextual in nature, Instant queries may have
accounted for seven percent of Google's total core search volume and nine percentage
points of its total year-over-year core search growth of 26.5 percent" in
October, said Susquehanna analyst Marianne Wolk.
Wolk added that the new Instant Previews launched this month
may boost query volume over time.
Although it appears distant in Google's rearview mirror, Microsoft has grown
Bing search from 8 percent in June 2009 to 11.5 percent last month, the
greatest growth spurt of any search provider.
This is no mean feat versus Google, which has been at around a 65 percent
share in the U.S. for several years.
Jefferies and Co analyst Youssef Squali said that because certain Bing
results will also be integrated
with Facebook's "like" and "dislike" buttons,
"we expect a pick-up in Microsoft's search results over the next couple of
months as these features are deployed."
Bing also officially powers Yahoo's search results and search ad clicks and could
very well see an uptick from that. However, Yahoo hauled in 16.5 percent of
traffic in its second full month of being powered by Bing, down from 16.7
percent in September.
Nevertheless, said Wolk, Yahoo's search transition to Bing might improve
results in November, December and 2011.
This may have been cause for disappointment in the past for Yahoo investors.
But Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz made it clear that search was not the company's focus
when she worked with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in 2009 to offload the Yahoo
search backend to Bing.
Then, at the Web 2.0 Summit
Nov. 16, Bartz said that her company is not a
search company, but one of "content, communications, media and
Against that backdrop, there are fresh whispers
that private equity firms want former News
Corp. President and COO Peter Chernin to
assume a leadership role at Yahoo.