July Search Market

Just last week, the Yahoo! and Microsoft Search Alliance rolled out its first big change to the public — Yahoo! organic search results are now driven by Bing’s algorithms in the US and Canada. For every search a consumer conducts on the Yahoo! engine, you will see the small but powerful words at the bottom of each SERP: "Powered by BingTM"".

Let’s take a final look at Bing and Yahoo! as separate engines before the landscape changes. Please note that this data is purely for web search, and does not count a contextual link or a slideshow frame advancement as an additional query.

Overall in July, the search market continued its recent trend, with Google losing slight market share to Bing. The one notable shift in recent trend is that Yahoo, for the first time since January, increased its share of search queries in July.

  • Search query volume across the 5 engines increased 2.0% from June to July, with both Bing and Yahoo seeing the biggest M-O-M volume increase.
  • While volume on Google increased slightly, its share of the market declined by -1.1%.
  • Yahoo and Bing both increased their share of the market, with Yahoo experiencing its first share increase (+3.0%) in 2010 and Bing steadily continuing to increase its share for 4 months in a row.
  • The volume of queries originating from paid search is up slightly from June, which is reflective of the fact that paid ad spend has been increasing overall.
  • In July, Google gained the most benefit from this industry-wide paid search ad spend increase.

Let’s take a look at how the 5 engines have been trending over the last year:

One new set of metrics that we are introducing goes beyond looking at the search market by volume and share, but measures the reach (number of people that are conducting searches) and the stickiness (average number of searches per person) per engine. Again, these numbers do not include queries conducted on vertical search engines.

A few observations about the number of people searching and how much they are using search:

  • The number of people searching on Google has declined steadily during the year, staying steady in recent months. Google’s "reach" is declining.
  • Some of these searchers may be going to the other engines, but it’s more likely that people are using vertical search and mobile search more and more.
  • Although Google may be seeing fewer unique visitors searching on their engine, the number of searches per person has steadily increased during this year. So Google is becoming stickier for those that still use it.
  • While Bing saw a decline experienced a slight dip earlier in the year, it has risen steadily since March. Bing searchers are conducting the most searches per person in July than all of this year. More reach and more stickiness.
  • Yahoo has been fairly consistent in its reach, but for the most part, Yahoo has experienced a decline in the number of searches per person.

Next month, we’ll begin reporting the combined Bing Powered Search Share as well as continue to report out the individual share metrics for Yahoo and Bing. We will look at not only search volume for Bing Powered Search but also assess what the combined reach and level of stickiness to the combined organic platform is vs. the other engines in the search market space.