January Search Market Share: Google share slows while query volume stays strong on Inauguration and Super Bowl searches

January, 2009 was a big month for the country and the leading search engines, with droves of Americans conducting searches related to the Obama Inauguration and Super Bowl XLIII.

It was an especially interesting month at the top of the search engine rankings, with Google losing a slight slice of market share to Yahoo! and showing signs of a possible slowdown in market share conquest.

In and of itself a 0.3% market share loss is not news. But Google’s market share has hovered at 70% for the last 6 or 7 months. Could this be the end of major market share gains for the search leader? With all 4 of its rivals backed into a corner, opportunities to grow share are limited.

Query volume growth was another story. Google continued to grow queries at nearly 50% year/year. Look for Google to break through the 10 billion query mark in 2009, all on its own.

So what happened to that tiny 0.3% slice of market share Google lost in January? Yahoo! picked it up, along with a new CEO. That’d be welcome news for Carol Bartz, who has a big job cut out for her.
Yahoo!’s month/month query volume growth hit nearly 10% for the second month in a row, but with year/year growth at only 1/5th of Google’s, it still has a lot of catching up to do.

Meanwhile, Windows Live Search dipped slightly last month, but year/year query volume growth looked decent at 23.9% (or 12.2% without Club Live).

Ask and AOL continued to perform at or below the query volumes they produced last year.

The key points for January, 2009 (excluding Club Live from the market)"¦

  • Google dips slightly to record of 70.2% share on solid 7.4% m/m query volume growth
  • Yahoo! hit 19.3% market share on strong 9.8% m/m query volume growth
  • Windows Live Search rose to 6.7% market share (with Club Live, it hit 9.7%)
  • Ask maintained 2.5% share, but year/year growth was flat
  • AOL held on with 1.0% share, but year/year growth was down 17.0%
  • Next month"¦ Valentines Day and the Oscars stir up February!

If you want to get your hands on the actual data in this post and a lot more don’t forget to check out Compete’s Data Hub.

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

Categories: Search

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