Last month we reported a potentially important change in search-market share trends: After years of steady decline, Yahoo’s domestic share numbers (YHOO) had increased for five months in a row. Well, the good news continued in January, with Yahoo’s share jumping a half-point to 21%, per comScore.
Google’s share, meanwhile, dropped a half-point, to 63%. You don’t see that every day.
Yahoo’s newfound tenacity in search is excellent news for the company’s hammered stockholders. If Yahoo can maintain command of 20%+ of the search market, it will pleasantly surprise the many market observers who had written it off. Its value to Microsoft will also rise. And search might even become a revenue growth engine again.
JP Morgan’s Imran Khan has the details (our commentary in blue):
- According to the data, total US core search volume increased 28.6% Y/Y in January, slightly below 30.6% Y/Y growth in December. However, the January growth level was ahead of 4Q’s 23.7% Y/Y growth.
- Google domestic core search market share was 63.0% in January, down from 63.5% in December. Google domestic core search volume growth of 38.4% Y/Y in January was slightly below December’s 42.8% growth but ahead of 4Q’s 34.7% growth. [Google’s domestic search share appears to be stabilizing, earlier than we many others expected]
- Yahoo! domestic core search market share increased to 21.0% in January from 20.5% in December. January domestic core search volume growth of 21.6% Y/Y was an increase from 17.2% in December and 12.0% Y/Y growth in 4Q. [Share has now increased 6 months in a row after declining for years.]
- MSN January domestic core search market share grew to 8.5% from 8.3% in December. MSN domestic core search volume was up 11.3% Y/Y in January, roughly in line with 11.1% growth in December and ahead of 5.1% growth in 4Q. [Minor increase, but still nearly irrelevant, especially considering how much money Microsoft is pouring into this.]
- AOL January domestic core search market share increased to 3.9% from 3.8% in December. AOL domestic core search volume was up 1.1% Y/Y in January, trailing December’s 2.6% Y/Y growth but ahead of 4Q’s 0.3% Y/Y growth.
- Ask Network domestic core search market share fell slightly to 3.7% in January from 3.9% in December. Ask Network domestic core search volume was up 4.6% Y/Y, vs. 9.6% growth in December and 3.7% growth in 4Q.