To sum it up, the search market share picture month in and month out plays like this. Google might fluctuate a point of two but it’s usually more like fractions of a point like this month. Meanwhile, the Internet press tries to make a story out of share between Bing and Yahoo. Here are the latest comScore results for January 2012 to examine.
January shows that Google, despite all the angst and concern amongst search insiders, is holding steady with two-thirds of US searchers using Google as their search engine of choice.
If you want to try to make this a story you can now look at the two different types of measurements (explicit and total core search) and first try to truly understand the differences. If you get to the point where you are satisfied you can now say that in one area it looks like Microsoft is ahead of Yahoo while the other shows that Yahoo is ahead of Microsoft.
Does anyone else notice and then wonder why we don’t see Bing specifically mentioned, unless it is in a headline to get our attention? It’s because Microsoft has other search elements aside from Bing which get rolled into this number so our desire to compare Bing to Google is not exactly accurate. That won’t stop everyone from making that claim though.
Then there is the monthly consideration that Bing can barely get itself past Yahoo despite Yahoo giving up long ago on advertising or promoting itself to the masses, especially as a search engine. And while Yahoo has thrown in the towel, Bing still advertises on TV to get people to remember that there are search options!
Add to this that the combined number of Microsoft and Yahoo search stays below 30% total market share (can you say peaked?) and the only real shift comes from taking share from each other, while using the same engine to provide results, and this whole thing is a non-issue.
So my question is, would you rather see these results each month if they stay the same or would you only be interested if something actually changed?