Analysts expect to see Yahoo’s market share slip below ten percent next month. Analysts at comScore publish a monthly Search Engine Rankings report for the United States, and it is expected that the May report will show the search engine slipping below the 10 percent mark for the first time. In March, the search engine had a 10.1% share, in April, the share had slipped to 10 percent, with Microsoft gaining 0.1 percent and Google also gaining 0.1 percent.
This is a huge slip from the numbers recorded in 2009, which saw Yahoo holding a 19.3 percent market share. Yahoo and Microsoft signed a deal for search co-operation that year, and at that point Microsoft held an 8.9 percent share of the market according to comScore’s data. Today, Microsoft is the bigger of the two search engines, but both are still lagging significantly behind Google, who has gained almost three percent over that time, holding a dominant 67.5 percent share of the market.
Over the five year period since the Search Alliance deal was formed, Microsoft (Bing) and Yahoo’s combined market share has never exceeded 29 percent. Bing has benefited from the deal, but instead of eating into Google’s market share the company has simply cannibalized Yahoo’s share. The minor search engines are fighting among themselves while Google remains dominant.
Google’s powerful position in the search market comes in spite of the search giant facing several court hearings for anti-competitive practices in Europe and in the USA. Google is under pressure to provide more information about alternative services, including price comparison services, local search and other online offerings by offering more prominent links to services that are outside their network. They have worked hard to come to an agreement with the competition commission in Europe, but Fair Search campaigners feel that the changes are too little, too late.
Google, Bing and Yahoo are the three superpowers in the search space and the ones that any major London SEO agency will target, with Ask Network holding a 2.5% market share, and AOL, Inc. holding a 1.3% share. There are some other international search engines, such as Baidu, that are powerful in other parts of the world, and the privacy-focussed service Duck Duck Go is gaining popularity, especially in Europe, but in the United States it appears that Google is unlikely to lose its crown as the dominant search engine any time soon.