Yahoo Search Share Sinks, Google, Bing Rise in February 2012

Google Bing Yahoo logosYahoo’s slice of the U.S. search engine market continued to evaporate in February reaching a new low, according to comScore’s latest figures. Google and Bing both saw gains, with Google nearly matching its highest recorded search share (in December 2010).

Yahoo has seen its share of searches drop for six straight months. After peaking in August 2011 at 16.3 percent, it’s been all downhill since for Yahoo.

For the first time, Yahoo’s search market share dropped below 14 percent in February – to 13.8 percent, down from 14.1 percent in January and down from 16.1 percent in February 2011.

A recent search engine usage study from Pew also highlighted how Yahoo’s popularity is sinking among the general public. Only 6 percent of respondents reported using Yahoo most often, whereas 26 percent of people named Yahoo as their top choice in 2004.

Meanwhile, Bing, the company the powers Yahoo’s organic search results, continued its incremental growth for the second straight month. At 15.3 percent, Bing grabbed its highest search engine share since launching in 2009, topping its previous high of 15.2 percent, set in January.

Bing became the number two U.S. search engine in the U.S. when it surpassed Yahoo for the first time in December 2011. In February 2011, Bing’s search market share was 13.6 percent.

Least surprisingly of all, Google continued to lead the U.S. search market, with 66.4 percent, up from 66.2 percent in January. Google commanded 65.5 percent of the search engine market last February.

However, Google’s 66.4 percent is noteworthy because Google nearly matched a high previously set in December 2010 – 66.6 percent. Still, that was good enough for its second all-time highest monthly share. Google has also seen its share of searches increase for three straight months.

In the all-important Google vs. Bing “powered by” metric, Google continued to dominate, powering 68.6 percent of organic searches (up from 68.4 percent in January), while Bing powered 26.2 percent of organic searches (down from 26.5 in January).

As for Ask, its 3 percent share of searches in February remained unchanged from January. AOL saw its share of searches fall to 1.5 percent, down from 1.6 percent in January.

More than 17.6 billion explicit core searches were conducted in February, down from 17.8 billion in January. Google ranked first with 11.7 billion searches (down from 11.8 billion in January); Bing with 2.7 billion; Yahoo with 2.4 billion (down from 2.5 billion); Ask with 535 million (up 2 percent); and AOL with 266 million (down from 277 million).

Search Engine Market Share February 2012

Infographic by Neil Tweddle/Search Engine Watch

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