Google Cedes Search Share to Yahoo, Bing Stays Flat

Google totaled 65.4 percent of U.S. searches, down from 65.8 percent, comScore said. Yahoo rose to 17.4 percent from 17.1 percent in July. Microsoft Bing hovered around 11 percent.

Google retained its 65 percent market share for the month of August, though rival Yahoo nibble a bit at the search leader's market share, according to comScore.

Google tallied 65.4 percent of U.S. searches, down from 65.8 percent. Yahoo, which lost search share for most of 2009 before stabilizing in 2010, rose to 17.4 percent from 17.1 percent in July. Microsoft Bing growth was flat, growing from 11 percent to 11.1 percent for the month.

Those numbers constituted explicit core search, which comScore calculates by excluding user interface features such as slide shows, which triggers a series of Web pages that count as clicks, and contextual links, in which clicks are counted each time a user hovers over words in news stories.

Yahoo and Microsoft enjoyed several percentage points of growth at Google's expense when they began using such features in April.

Analysts covering search said this was not an accurate market count, and comScore altered its methodology for July's count, counting explicit core search and total core search, which includes the slide show and contextual link e-querries.

Indeed, total core search numbers paint a rosier picture for Yahoo and Bing versus Google. Google accounted for 60.5 percent of total core search queries for August. Yahoo and Bing followed nabbed 21 percent percent 12.8 percent, respectively.

Users conducted 10.3 billion searches on Google, which said it has 1 billion searchers, for August. Yahoo totaled 3.6 billion searches and Microsoft followed with 2.2 billion total searches.

comScores' latest numbers tell quite a different tale than the stats Nielsen released Sept. 14.

Nielsen accounted for Yahoo's transition of its search platform to Bing Aug. 24, which meant Bing actually outdid Yahoo in search, 13.9 percent to 13.1 percent for August, the researcher said.

comScore's numbers did not factor in this transition. Indeed, comScore said that neither Microsoft's powering of Yahoo search nor Google's introduction of Google Instant predictive search will impact its September search stats.

However, while the researcher claimed these changes will "not disrupt comScore's ability to measure search activity consistently," the company will eventually address both factors in its data collection methodology.