April Search Market Share: Sponsored Referrals Drop Dramatically

Search market share and query volume didn’t change much in April, 2009, but sponsored referrals at some of the leading search engines took a big hit.

Last month, query volume dipped a slight 5.4% at the leading search engines, and nearly all maintained their March market share. Concerns over Swine Flu, Opening Day at baseball parks across the country and buzz over Twitter weren’t enough to move the query dial into black.

However, amid discussions of a slow growth in sponsored referrals relative to query volume, Google‘s rate of sponsored referrals dropped a sharp 0.6% in April, possibly attributable to search marketer cutbacks given the uncertain economy, as well as improved targeting from the search engines. Google maintained impressive 9+ billion queries or 73.3% of share.
Yahoo! also saw a sharp decrease in sponsored referral rate, falling to 6.3%, while query volume and market share were essentially flat. Again, improved targeting and economic conditions appear to be the cause.
Lastly, Ask saw a dramatic fall of 1.7pts to 4.5% rate of sponsored referrals, bringing it back to levels from a couple of months ago. Ask’s query volume and market share were essentially flat.

To recap, not much new in terms of query volume and market share, but sponsored referrals took a good lick in April, 2009.

  • Google query volume dipped a slight 5.0% and market share stayed essentially flat at 73.3%. Meanwhile sponsored referral rate fell to 6.2%
  • Yahoo! query volume and market share were essentially flat, while sponsored referral rate fell to 6.3%.
  • MSN/Live hovered at 6.2% market share, while rate of sponsored referrals actually grew slightly.
  • Ask maintained 2.4% share and a second tier rate of sponsored referrals at 4.5%.
  • AOL slid slightly to 0.6% market share, continuing to 82 million searches in April.

*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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