Yahoo Search Streak Snapped, Loses Share In Feb (Google Gains)

Minor changes in search share in February: Yahoo’s string of search-share gains was snapped in February, although the company’s share is hanging in at above 20%.  Google, meanwhile, regained its form.

Imran Khan, JP Morgan:

ComScore released February 2009 qSearch volume and market share data for the US... Following are the data highlights:

  • According to the data, total US core search volume increased 32.6% Y/Y in February, slightly ahead of 28.6% Y/Y growth in January. The QTD 1Q’09 growth rate of 30.6% remains ahead of 4Q’s 23.7% Y/Y growth.
  • Google domestic core search market share was 63.3% in February, up from 63.0% in January. Google domestic core search volume growth of 41.6% Y/Y in February was slightly above January’s 38.4% growth; QTD 40.0% growth is ahead of 4Q’s 34.7% growth.

[Important note: query growth is not the same as revenue growth.  We think the latter has been weak.]

  • Yahoo! domestic core search market share declined to 20.6% in February from 21.0% in January. February domestic core search volume growth of 26.2% Y/Y represented the sixth consecutive month of accelerating Y/Y growth, and compared to 21.6% in January and 12.0% Y/Y growth in 4Q.  [Slightly disappointing: Yahoo has gained share for five months in a row.]
  • MSN February domestic core search market share dipped to 8.2% from 8.5% in January. MSN domestic core search volume was up 12.6% Y/Y in February, slightly ahead of 11.3% growth in January and ahead of 5.1% growth in 4Q. [No surprise–Microsoft is still sucking wind here.]
  • Ask Network domestic core search market share rose to 4.1% in February from 3.7% in January. Ask Network domestic core search volume was up 19.2% Y/Y, vs. 4.6% growth in January and 3.7% growth in 4Q.
  • AOL February domestic core search market share stayed flat vs. January at 3.9%. AOL domestic core search volume was up 3.8% Y/Y in February, ahead of January’s 1.1% Y/Y growth and of 4Q’s 0.3% Y/Y growth.

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