Microsoft’s Search Efforts Look Increasingly Futile As Google Gains Share For Second Month In A Row

The latest ComScore search numbers just came out, and Google continues to claw back market share.

Here’s where the big search engines stood at the end of October, compared with September:


comScore Explicit Core Search Share Report*
October 2011 vs. September 2011
Total U.S. – Home & Work Locations
Source: comScore qSearch Core Search Entity Explicit Core Search Share (%) Sep-11 Oct-11 Point Change Total Explicit Core Search 100.0% 100.0% N/A Google Sites 65.3% 65.6% 0.3 Yahoo! Sites 15.5% 15.2% -0.3 Microsoft Sites 14.7% 14.8% 0.1 Ask Network 3.0% 2.9% -0.1 AOL, Inc. 1.5% 1.5% 0.0In other words, Google gained about 0.3% from Yahoo (which is powered by Bing). Microsoft itself grabbed 0.1% from Ask.

But let’s see how these tiny moves add up over time. Here’s a chart from a couple months ago showing market share from November 2010 through August 2011:

Comscore core search data Nov 10 through July 11

[credit provider=”Comscore via Stifel”]

Google’s share bottomed out in August, and has been rising ever since.

Similarly, combined Yahoo-Bing market share peaked in August. It’s been dropping ever since.

If these trends continue, next month Google will be almost back to where it was a year ago, around 66% share. Bing+Yahoo will be lucky to remain above 30%.

Microsoft has spent more than $5 billion on its online business in the last year. That is, it’s lost $2.5 billion, on revenues of $2.5 billion. Most of that money is presumably going to R&D on Bing and managing the Yahoo deal.

That kind of expenditure looked bad enough when Microsoft was only eking out a few tenths of a percentage point in gains every month. Now that it’s starting to decline, it looks even sillier.

No wonder Bing marketing chief Yusuf Mehdi thought he could advance his career by moving over to Xbox.