May brought more of the same for Google. With monthly search volumes among US consumers up 2.6% on Google, the search giant gained another point in market share. Interestingly enough however, most of these gains appear to have come from the smaller "tier two engines." Among the other top-4 players only Yahoo! saw a monthly decline in search volume and that was relatively minor. Yahoo! market share dipped slightly to just below 20% in May.
Outside of Google, the other big players seem to be on a bit of a roller coaster these days; up one month and down the next. In May, MSN/Live turned the corner a bit and posted the first month-over-month gains since February. Ask was the big winner in terms of monthly volume growth, up over 9% from April to May. Still Google remained the only engine with any year-over-year gains.
A few very interesting things hit the search engine market in June that should make for lots of discussion next month. On June 4th, Ask 3D launched, presenting Ask users with a new "morphing" search results page. Then on June 9th Privacy International released a report that severely criticized Google’s privacy practices. Matt Cutts of Google posted a rebuttal to the report here. Then Donna Bogatin of ZDNet post a rebuttal to the rebuttal here "¦ and on and on and on, the debate continues across the blogosphere. The real question that remains is how this will play with the overall consumer population. We shall see, we shall see "¦
*Search market share includes web search only and is calculated based on unique queries within each session during the given month.