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Once again there were differing fortunes for search engines this month on both sides of the Atlantic. The small fluctuations in Google’s market share in the UK continue as this month they lost a small percentage, however when put into context, they still overwhelmingly dominate the UK market. In the US Google were the biggest winners, with Yahoo relinquishing a fair share after a small gain last month.
In the UK the biggest winner this month was Ask who gained a 0.15% share of the market from 1.44% in August to 1.59% in September. Yahoo also gained this month with an infinitesimal 0.01%. All other search engines actually lost very minimal percentages.
According to figures from Hitwise, it’s business as usual for the UK search engine market. Despite a 0.10% loss for Google, their overall share remains at a staggering 90.78%. Ask, for the third month in a row has gained a relatively small amount to take their overall market share to 1.59%, their highest in 2011.
In previous months Bing appeared to be making a good effort at gaining ground on Google, albeit slowly [See: Rise in Search Volume and Market Share for Bing] However this trend has actually dropped off in recent months; their highest percentage of the market came in April with 4.24% and since then there has been a slow decline month on month as their market share now stands at 3.70% – perhaps we were a little over optimistic about Bing’s efforts in closing the gap on the search overlord.
In the US it was Google that once again came out on top with a monthly percentage increase of 0.50%. Yahoo was the biggest loser this month as their percentage share dropped 0.80% from 16.30% in August to 15.50% in September. AOL also saw minor gains of 0.20% this month and all other search engines’ market share remained stagnant.
ComScore‘s figures highlight some potentially significant movements, with Google getting back on track and Yahoo slowly slipping further away. Google’s 0.50% increase will come as welcomed news as they’ve experienced small declines over the past couple of months. The US search engine market is much more competitive than the UK, and so Google could ill-afford to keep losing a percentage of the market month-on-month.
It’s contrasting news for Yahoo though, who have seen a drop in their market share, the first drop in eight months. Whilst that may sound quite surprising, in that time they have either experienced tiny gains or none at all each month. The news is another blow to the struggling search engine who have recently been in talks over a possible take-over from Alibaba [See: Is The End Nigh For Yahoo?].
Overall, it’s business as usual for the main players this month, but a watchful eye must be kept on the relatively smaller search engines, such as Ask’s small rises and Bing’s small declines month-on-month in the UK along with Yahoo and their developments both in the US and the UK. If a take-over does materialise it will be interesting to see how this will affect their market share and even their overall purpose.