Google, Bing Search Shares Rise, comScore Says
Google and Microsoft Bing added search market share through March, with Google growing from 65.4 percent share in February to 65.7 percent share in March, comScore found.
Bing continued its rise up the search charts, netting 13.9 percent share, up from 13.6 percent the prior month. Bing boasts the highest quarter-over-quarter gain, growing from 11.8 percent from the fourth quarter.
Microsoft's Bing team has rolled out a number of interesting features, including a flight price predictor capability for its Bing Travel portal and partnering with Kayak on travel search.
Yahoo continued its gradual slide, falling to 15.7 percent share from 16.1 percent. As partners (Bing is powering Yahoo search on the back end), Bing and Yahoo command 29.7 percent of the market, still less than half of the market leader. If the current trend keeps up, Bing will overtake Yahoo in search at some point this year.
Yahoo hopes its Yahoo Search Direct technology will boost market share. Like Google Instant, Yahoo Search Direct is a predictive search technology that delivers results to users in far fewer keystrokes.
Yahoo hopes Search Direct can boost its search results the way Google Instant has for Google since it launched last September.
Jefferies and Co. analyst Youssef Squali said that Google should see a 15 percent bump in paid clicks and an 8 percent boost in cost-per-clicks, driven partly by Google Instant, which "seems to be transferring some clicks from natural to paid search."
The public should hear more about Google's latest financials on the company's first-quarter earnings call April 14 after the bell. Google is expected to announce earnings of $6.31 billion and earnings per share of $8.13.
However, the more interesting news will likely be whether or not new CEO Larry Page joins the call. Page took the reins from Eric Schmidt April 4 and has rejiggered his senior management lineup to report directly to him.
With desktop search on solid ground for now, investors will be interested to hear how Google's mobile search and YouTube display ad efforts are coming along.