Search engine shares stay stagnant

Ronny Kerr · December 16, 2009 · Short URL:

Google and Bing both up slightly, Facebook coming up from behind?

Earlier in the year and even as recent as September, the search engine rankings only said one thing: Google's not going anywhere, but Bing's climbing and climbing.

A different story is now the case, but it might not be one that Microsoft wants to hear.

November data collected and analyzed by comScore against October numbers shows us a stagnant market, one with very little growth or decline to speak of amongst the top search engines. In first place, Google sites saw a tiny rise in its search market share, from 65.4% to 65.6%, while Microsoft sites saw similar growth, from 9.9% to 10.3%. Yahoo sites, as has been the case previously, provided most of the extra room for the other two search businesses to grow, as it dropped from an 18% market share in October to 17.5% in November.

Interestingly, while search engine shares have not been shuffling around very much, comScore just demonstrated this week that social networking, Facebook in particular, needs some room to grow. On Tuesday, Facebook, which now has 350 million members worldwide, knocked AOL out of the spot reserved for the fourth-largest site in the US.

And Facebook shows no signs of slowing.

Considering that Facebook now only has Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft to compete with for the top three spots in the domestic Web, it might not make sense to ignore the social networking site's importance to Web search. Especially as the site pushes for more Twitter-like openness across its userbase, the site will only become more influential.

Still, Microsoft just made Bing available for the iPhone. With attractive features like location-aware voice search, the search engine may draw a crowd and help boost Microsoft's search numbers.

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