We all play the monthly search share game but it has become a bit more complicated as of late. We now have to pay attention to whose numbers are being considered and what they are using to measure this important metric. It used to be that we would take comScore at its word (which is admittedly a dangerous play) but other players like Chitika have raised the bar by at least playing in the same ballpark as comScore.
Now comScore is adjusting its measurement techniques. Both Chitika and comScore’s approaches are covered with the usual thoroughness that Danny Sullivan provides over at Search Engine Land. I recommend that you read both articles to get the big picture on the ‘new’ landscape of search share measurement.
As for the numbers for July based on the adjustments to comScores ‘core search’ analysis The Business Insider reports
According to the data, total US explicit core search volume increased 15.1% Y/Y in July, an acceleration from 10.8% growth in June. The July level was also above 2Q’s 7% growth.
Google domestic explicit core search market share was 65.8% in July, down slightly from 66.2% in June. Google domestic explicit core search volume growth of 16.9% Y/Y in July was an acceleration from June’s 12.7% growth and 2Q’s 9.1% growth.
Yahoo! domestic explicit core search market share increased to 17.1% in July from 16.7% in June. Yahoo! July explicit core search volume increased 1.8% Y/Y, an improvement from June’s 5.5% decline and 2Q’s 10.5% decline.
Microsoft sites’ domestic explicit core search market share stayed flat at 11.0% in July. Microsoft sites grew July explicit core search volume by 43.8% Y/Y vs. 46.6% growth in June and 42.2% growth in 2Q.
Ask Network domestic explicit core search market share stayed flat at 3.8% in July. Ask grew July explicit core search volume by 9.7% Y/Y, up from 5.7% growth in June and 3.9% growth in 2Q.
AOL July domestic explicit core search market share dropped slightly to 2.3% from 2.4% in June. AOL July explicit core search volume declined by 13.8% Y/Y vs a 16.3% decline in June and a 19.9% decline in 2Q.
So what’s the takeaway here? It appears as if Google is stuck. Maybe there is no more room at the top and the old axiom of ‘what goes up must come down’ is starting to take hold here. Maybe it’s time for Google to advertise and stop being so smug about its dominance in the space. Maybe it’s just the way it is and Google is trying to hedge its bets by branching out into other areas.
All of these are possible but the reality is that Google’s lead in search share is still dominant even if they have slipped a bit. Everyone will want to bury the Goog but unless there is truly a better mousetrap out there that is unlikely in the foreseeable future.
So what is your take? Does any competitor REALLY stand a chance to knock Google off its pedestal? Even if Google slipped even lower in market share in the US would there be cause for alarm or is it just part of the process? Do you see a competitor of any real worth on the horizon?