ComScore’s June U.S. search data is out.
Once again, Yahoo and Microsoft gained share at Google’s expense because of contextual search tricks on the sites that turn users’ click-by-click browsing into extra search queries.
But even excluding those tricks, Google lost a tiny bit of share, while Yahoo and Microsoft both gained a tiny bit of a share.
Remember that last month, comScore said it would soon change its search share methodology now that it knows Yahoo and Bing are gaming the system. The last thing comScore wants is for its data to be worthless because the search engines are tricking it.
Here are the details from JPMorgan’s Imran Khan:
comScore released June 2010 US core search volume and market share data this evening. We note that this is only one data point and is not necessarily predictive of 2Q performance. Following are the data highlights:
- User interface changes continue to cloud the picture. Contextual searches at Yahoo! and Microsoft continued to impact the core search volume in June. As such, numbers may not be directly comparable to past months. On a reported basis, Google lost 110 bps market share in June vs. May, while Yahoo! and Microsoft were up 60 bps each. Excluding the impact of all adjustments, Google lost 20 bps of market share, while Yahoo! increased 10 bps and Microsoft grew 20 bps.
- Understanding the changes. Yahoo! and Microsoft’s new interfaces link content together with relevant searches, and navigation is now more likely to occur via a series of searches, tallied as “contextual-driven” by comScore; these made up 2.4% of the total in April, 4% in May, and 5% in June.
- According to the data, total US core search volume increased 16.9% Y/Y in June, an acceleration from 11.2% growth in May. However, adjusting for the impact of user interface changes, we estimate search volume was up ~10.6% Y/Y.
- Without adjustments, Google domestic core search market share was 62.6% in June, down from 63.7% in May. Google domestic core search volume growth of 12.7% Y/Y in June was up from May’s 9.1% growth.
- Unadjusted, Yahoo! domestic core search market share increased to 18.9% in June from 18.3% in May. Yahoo! June core search volume was up 13% Y/Y, an improvement from May’s 1% growth. We believe the company is working to address its search market share as outlined at its recent Analyst Day—though the majority of the near-term uplift is coming from efforts to ensure third-party measurement is correctly crediting Yahoo! for contextual searches.
- Unadjusted, Microsoft sites domestic core search market share increased to 12.7% in June, from 12.1% in May. Microsoft grew June core search volume by 77% Y/Y, accelerating from 68% growth in May.
- Ask Network domestic core search market share stayed flat at 3.6% in June. Ask grew June core search volume by 6% Y/Y, up from 4% growth in May.
- AOL domestic core search market share dropped slightly to 2.2% in June from 2.3% in May. AOL June core search volume declined by 16% Y/Y vs. a 18% Y/Y decline in May.