Google approaches 50% share in search market

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Google approaches 50% share in search market

Mountain View (CA) – April was the ninth consecutive month in which Google increased its market share in web searches, according to a report released today by Comscore Networks. Google now performs more than twice the searches requested through Yahoo and MSN combined. But it’s not all rosy for Google: A related report claims that Google is trailing the competition in other services.

There is little Yahoo and Microsoft can do about Google’s dominance in the global search market. The Mountain View company is on a roll and is gaining substantial market share every quarter, according to studies published on Monday.

Comscore Networks says that Google carried out 2.9 billion search queries during the month of April, which translated into a 43.1% share of the total 6.6 billion searches requested by Americans in that month. The share is up 6.6 percentage points over April 2005 and up 0.4 points over March 2006. All major competitors had to give up market shares year-over-year, with Yahoo dropping 2.7 points to 28.0%, MSN 3.2 points to 12.9%, AOL 2.1% to 6.9% and Ask 0.3 points to 5.8%.

According to Comscore, Google and Yahoo represent a fortress when it comes to toolbar searches. With market shares of 48.0% and 47.6%, respectively, the companies reached a combined 95.6% share.

Other reports recently released suggest that Comscore’s numbers may be conservative. Nielsen Netratings estimated last month that Google controls 49%, while Yahoo was put into a 22% and MSN into an 11% range. Another study released today by Hitwise is closer to Nielsen’s figures, claiming that Google’s share is at 47.4%, Yahoo at 16.0% and MSN at 11.5%.

Hitwise also said that Google is drawing more than 80% of its traffic from its core search service. And while its other service are introduced with much fanfare, it appears that email, news and financial information do not attract as much traffic as it does on competitor’s sites. For example, Yahoo’s mail has 42.4% of the traffic, followed by MSN with 22.9% – Gmail comes in at a meager 2.54%. Yahoo finance is also much more successful than the recently launched Google Finance site – with a share of 34.9% compared to 0.29%. In news, Google’s share is estimated at 1.9%, while Yahoo attracts 6.3% of all traffic.