December 2007 Search Market Share: Status quo even after some minor adjustments

Back in November you may recall we saw a pretty substantial uptick in the overall volume of searches being performed in the market. It appears that holiday driven growth slowed in December as the overall volume of searches in the marketplace was essentially unchanged in December. The US online population posted roughly 8.2 billion search queries in the final month of 2007. In general the status quo seen in the overall market was reflected in the individual performance of the major players.

Google continued its climb towards the stratosphere capturing 68% of all search queries in the US. Yahoo! stemmed the receding tide a bit but still lost a marginal amount of market share on slight volume declines. Unfortunately for Yahoo! the continued slide, albeit small, pushed them to a new low for market share. MSN/Live continued the good fight in December and actually outpaced Google with respect to percentage gains in volume. Year-over-year, MSN/Live total search volume was up nearly 40%. Ask held the dubious title of posting the largest overall decline in search volume in December. Although a 5% month-over-month decline in search volume after a substantial increase is hardly anything new to Ask. Despite the roller coaster ride, year-over-year Ask volume was up nearly 31%. Unfortunately, when you’re the little guy you need astronomical gains to make real headway. Market share for Ask was essentially unchanged from December 2006. Last but not least, AOL had the largest percentage gains in volume month-over-month with a gain of 5.5%. Despite year-over-year volume gains, AOL hasn’t been able to keep pace with the market and has lost market share from December 2006.

The recap "¦

  • Despite "laws of big numbers," Google volume and market share continue to climb to new record levels
  • Yahoo! volume and market share decreased, but the descent did slow a bit
  • MSN/Live market share inched up slightly with the largest overall volume gains
  • Ask market share and search volume continued on the roller coaster with a decline in December
  • AOL volume increased substantially and managed to squeak out a minor gain in market share

Footnote for December search share release:

A few months back we saw a pretty substantial drop in AOL searches and were a little concerned something might be up. Well we finally figured out what was going on and have adjusted our search share calculations accordingly. The good news is that AOL reporting is back on the table as you can see. The bad news is we had to adjust our market share numbers for some prior months. The trends and the volume estimates are still the same we just had to slightly adjust everyone downward to account for AOL. As a result, along with the standard data we publish, we’re providing you with all of the adjusted numbers for the months affected.

* 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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