If rumors weren’t abundant enough, they sure will be in the coming weeks. According to the latest published figures by online competitive intelligence service, Hitwise, Microsoft have lost 3 percent year on year [directly to Google] in US Search Market Share.
Percentage of US Searches Among Leading Search Engine Providers Domain Jul-07 Jun-07 Jul-06 www.google.com 64.35% 63.92% 60.23% search.yahoo.com 22.13% 21.31% 22.54% search.msn.com / live.com 8.79% 9.85% 11.77% www.ask.com 3.21% 3.42% 3.29%
Surely the only way that Microsoft can hope to compete with Google is through major acquisition – making Yahoo! (who have held steady) an even tastier proposition. But let’s speculate for a moment on these giants combining search efforts; their joint market share would still be half that of Google’s – unless of course, they were to undertake a considerable rethink in the process.
Satya Nadella, Corporate Vice President and the man leading Microsoft’s engineering efforts across Web Search, has denied rumors that his team are working on a replacement search engine – but hasn’t ruled out the idea of “reconceptualising” the search user interface to gain users.
In a recent interview, Nadella outlined three areas where Microsoft can innovate in search:
- Core – improving search relevance (mmm… could do more)
- User Experience – how to get searchers to use them more (mmm… scratch head)
- Integration – into existing Microsoft properties (mmm… reputation not great)
Matt Tatham of Hitwise also reported that Google is an increasing source of traffic to key industries:
Search engines continue to be the primary way Internet users navigate to key industry categories. Comparing July 2007 to July 2006, the Travel, News and Media, Entertainment and Business and Finance categories received double digit increases in their share of traffic coming directly from search engines.
Clearly Microsoft still remain a huge competitive threat to Google – their power supersedes that – but whilst Search continues to reach out to more people, across new platforms, Microsoft have got to either strike now or differentiate themselves in a stroke of genius.
Source: Hitwise – All figures are based on US data from the Hitwise sample of 10 million Internet users.