To compete successfully with Google for search market share, Microsoft-Yahoo! need to focus on increasing their users’ loyalty, says comScore.
Search engine giant Google holds higher loyalty amongst its users. According to comScore analysis, Google searchers have the highest loyalty rate, with 68.9 per cent of all their searches occurring on Google sites. comScore conducted an analysis of search loyalty amongst users of the top three engines in order to determine what challenges exist for the Yahoo!-Microsoft partnership.
According to the report, users of the engines at the combined Yahoo! and Microsoft sites conducted 32.6 per cent of their searches on the combined Yahoo! and Microsoft sites, but a much higher 60.7 per cent of their searches on Google sites.
In June 2009, Google sites had a 65 per cent share of searches in the US core search market, compared to 28 per cent for Yahoo! sites (19.6 per cent) and Microsoft sites (8.4 per cent) combined. Despite lagging in terms of overall search share, the combined searcher penetration of Yahoo! and Microsoft was 73.3 per cent, not far behind Google at 84 per cent.
The source of the discrepancy between search share and searcher penetration is that searchers on Google conducted significantly more searches on average in a month (54.5) than did searchers on Yahoo! and Microsoft (26.9), says comScore.
“The recently announced search partnership between Microsoft and Yahoo! certainly makes the combined entity a more formidable competitor to Google in the US search marketplace,” said Eli Goodman, search evangelist, comScore.
“While they are still looking up at Google in terms of market share, they have a real opportunity to make headway given that nearly three-quarters of all searchers conduct at least one search on these engines every month. The challenge will be to create a search experience compelling enough to convert lighter searchers into regular searchers which is generally easier than converting new users. Though clearly easier said than done, if they were to equalise the number of searches per searcher with Google they would command more than 40 per cent market share,” added Goodman.