August Search Market

search engine logos

Last month we took one final look at Yahoo! and Bing as separate engines before we started to report on combined Bing Powered Search metrics.  This month we take a final look at Google before the release of its newest game-changer, otherwise known as Google Instant.

What did we see happen in August?

  • Search query volume across the 5 engines increased 2.1% from July to August, with Bing experiencing the highest M-O-M query volume increase at 20%.  Google was the only engine that experienced a slight 1.8% M-O-M query volume decline.
  • Bing Powered Search, comprised of both Yahoo! and Microsoft, now represents over a quarter of the search market with a combined share of 26%.  Bing’s share alone continued to increase (+1.8ppts from July to August), closing the gap between itself and Yahoo.
  • Google was the only search engine that experienced an increase in paid queries, with a +1.1ppt M-O-M increase.

Our recently introduced set of metrics — # of unique searchers per engine and # of searches per searcher — will become increasingly relevant as we all closely watch how Google Instant will affect the search landscape.  The number of unique individuals searching on each engine is a proxy of that engine’s reach, while the average number of searches per person is an indication of how engaged users are with that particular engine.

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

  • The number of unique individuals searching on Google dropped slightly in August, with a 3.1% decline, but the average number of queries per person searching on Google rose slightly (1.3% M-O-M increase).  These are figures to watch in the coming months, as we determine how Google Instant will be changing consumer usage.
  • After the adoption of Bing’s organic search technology, Yahoo! experienced an increase in the number of searches per person (16% M-O-M increase).
  • Bing experienced both a growth in its reach — the number of unique searchers — as well as its stickiness — the number of searches per person.

As more consumers become aware of Yahoo’s Bing powered technology and with the continued rollout of Google Instant, Compete will not only be monitoring search volume and share for each of the major engines, but the level to which consumers turn to and use each of these engines in the coming months.