Well, if you were hoping for dramatic moves in the search engine market, prepare for a rather large letdown: it was a placid March.
Unlike in other months, when the majors have jockeyed for each and every tenth of a percent of market share, in March little shifted. The only market share changes at all, according to comScore were the loss of 0.1% by Yahoo, and the gain of 0.1% by AOL.
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Now, total ‘explicit core searches’ did rise 4% during the month, so every search engine grew, but some just grew a touch faster. AOL, which was the only search engine to actually gain market share, grew by 7%. Microsoft sites were the only other search products to grow faster than the average, clocked 5% expansion.
In short, the whole market expanded a touch, and everyone was unch. I could at this point take the story in a few directions: Bing is holding fast against a powerful Google; Google is holding down a weak Bing; AOL’s surge is troubling for Bing; AOL’s surge is a fluke; Yahoo’s decline continues; Yahoo’s decline means that Bing is trouble, as its ally falls; but I think that none of that is quite true, and that for the moment all is quiet on the search front.
I’m starting to wonder if it is months, or years until Bing cracks 20%, and Google falls under 60%, if either ever happen.