New Compete.com search share numbers show surprising surge for Live Search

By Kip Kniskern | In News | Posted April 5, 2008 7 comments

Compete.com released their version of March US search market share numbers on Friday, showing a surprising surge for Live Search, up nearly 4 percentage points from February (a notoriously slow, and short, month), and up .7% year over year.  In addition, search volume (the number of searches performed) was up significantly as well.  Also notable was that for the first time in nine months, Google lost market share.

Overall volume of search in March exploded, with total queries increasing over 6% and surpassing the 9 billion mark. That’s the biggest month-over-month increase in total search volume since July of last year. Interestingly enough this growth was not driven by our perennial search leader Google. In fact Google actually underperformed the market for the first time in 9 months and saw market share decline more than ½ a point.

Yahoo! continued it’s nosedive, and while Compete.com wasn’t sure how to  explain the numbers, it could very well be that Yahoo! Search users are sensing the end is near for their product, and giving Live Search a try.  A wild guess, granted, but there’s not much else to explain the rapid rise of Live Search numbers.

competeMarch

In another interesting note, John Battelle, author of “The Search” (and founder of Federated Media), hinted that Microsoft may have something up their sleeve:

Regardless, offline marketing of search can, no doubt, boost share. Why? Because honestly, there’s not much further down Yahoo’s share can go. With Ask all but throwing in the towel, Yahoo is one notch closer to the bottom (yeah, I know, Microsoft is lower, but I sense they could be, as many in the industry have said to me, lying in the weeds for a reason….).

(emphasis mine – kip)

The last time Microsoft saw a significant surge in market share numbers, it was traced easily to Live Search Club, a word game attempt to artificially inflate the numbers, which the ratings services quickly factored out.  We’re not aware of any such campaign going on now (at least not one so blatant), which makes these numbers a little eye-opening.  Of course one month’s numbers, by one of the three big rating services, does not mean that the game is changing, but this may be the first significant change in share for quite some time.

Posted April 5th, 2008 at 2:49 pm
Category: News
Tags: Google, Live Search
  • VasiS

    Nice, I use live search most of the time and live image search is the best.

  • Mephiles

    I’m surprised people use AOL! Everything madeby AOL is bad.

  • oli.burgess

    Don’t get too excited though. I’m still using Yahoo! Search simply because of the suggestions and that its image search incorporates Flickr. I’m wondering if the YHOO-MSFT deal goes through, whether they’ll incorporate search assist into Rome search.

  • quikboy

    I’m kinda shocked Google’s rise has finally fallen. Even a little means something.

    @Mephiles : So agree. It’s crazy why anyone actually uses AOL search. It’s essentially coming from Google search.

    @oli.burgess : If it’s not too much of a problem, Live Toolbar does what Y! essentially does. Live Toolbar has a history of your past searches, as well as suggest searches showing up as you type. It’s nifty and has been there before Y! came with Search Assist. There’s also search add-ons, and Flickr is one of them. So if I want Flickr results, I just type in the toolbar and press the Flickr button. Amazing, isn’t it?

    http://live.toolbar.com/

  • fileprompt free software

    Considering the amount of loud noises from microsoft, about how they will overtake google by this time next year, and the money they have thrown, and are about to with the acquisition of yahoo, I’m surprised they have achieved so little.

    http://www.fileprompt.com/

  • Alber1690

    Hmm…maybe I shouldn’t have searched for every site I wanted to go to…I think that explains the surge. Well, it could be the “MSN No One Wants to Look Dumb” campaign…I know it’s a far-fetch, but I’ve seen those ads in the most randomest places.

  • oli.burgess

    @quikboy
    it is widely accepted, even within the windows live enthusiast community, that windows live toolbar’s a load of bollocks