Is Google’s stranglehold on the market slipping? We all had to ask as comScore and Nielsen reported their numbers for December, with Google losing search market share. Although their losses were quite small, with Nielsen reporting a loss of 1.4 percentage points and comScore reporting a loss of 0.2 percentage points for Google in search engine market share between November and December.
So, what’s going on here? The Silicon Alley Insider assures us all that Google’s in no danger (in search market share, at least, no references to their falling stock price):
A person who follows search stats more closely than we do argues that Google’s December drop is probably easy to explain: Students spend less time on their computers in December because of the holidays.
Hmmm. Shouldn’t that phenomenon affect all the engines equally? No, says our search guru — Google’s share of students is much higher than its older rivals, so it gets hurt a bit more. And the same thing happens every spring, when school lets out for the summer: Last year comScore showed Google losing 1.6% from May to June. Then its share began climbing once again.
What do you think? Obviously most of us don’t have Google’s usage stats handy, and while these stats seem to ring true—well, you know me and data. Unfortunately, I can’t find anything more recent, but as recently as 2005, Yahoo! was still tops with the 18-34 demographic.
Naturally, search market shares and demographics have shifted greatly over time, but so much so that no other big search engine is perceptibly affected? (Nielsen reported a 0.2 percentage point loss for Yahoo and a 1.8 percentage point gain for Microsoft for December; comScore showed Yahoo up 0.5 percentage points and Microsoft holding steady last month.)
What do you think?