March Market Share: Two-Thirds of the US Online Population Is Using Google

After last month’s market share release Danny Sullivan was kind enough to reach out to us and asked us a few questions about our search numbers. As a result we did some digging into the numbers and have improved our market share assessments. Anyone out there who’s been watching search for a few years is likely familiar with "The Google Dance." Well no worries, we don’t plan to make our readers keep dancing. We just want to make sure you have the most accurate figures. Now on to the numbers.

Google just keeps going and going "¦ almost puts the Energizer Bunny to shame. Google market share gained another 2ppts in March. So here’s a question. If Google gains one more point in market share, will we lose our veto power? That’s right, for all intents and purposes two-thirds of the 6.4 billion web search queries in the US pass through the Google servers.

On other fronts it was another tough month for web search market just about everywhere other than Google. Ask saw a lift in overall queries but that was partially offset by a 1% increase in overall queries across all engines.

It looks like we may have been a little overzealous last month regarding MSN/Live’s search market share gains. After strong gains in February, Live search dipped slightly again in March. My original supposition was that the gains were perhaps driven by the consumer launch of Vista. If that was the case I wouldn’t expect it to taper off after only one month "¦ perhaps but not likely. So if that wasn’t it then what drove the unexpected sharp gains? We’d love to hear any of your thoughts on the matter.

* Search market share includes web search only and is calculated based on unique queries within each session during the given month.

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