February data from comScore appears to indicate that Google is losing market share with its dominance slipping from 63.1% to 62.8%.

The sensationalist Reuters headline, published on Yahoo news, does Google no favours.

Jefferies & Co analyst Youssef Squali said:

"We are continuing to see deceleration in growth in Web search. Google's month-over-month 5 percent decline is a little surprising, but all of the major Web search names were down."

Search volume dropped to 5.86 billion in February from 6.14 billion in January but this figure hasn't been adjusted to take into account the fact February had 2 days less than January.

If February had another 2 days the figures would actually have been higher than January.

Google's share among the top 5 search engines actually grew in February from 58.5% to 59.2% showing that any global losses were affecting its main competitors as well.

As long as the likes of Yahoo, MSN and Ask are not gaining significant ground Google has very little to worry about.


Published 20 March, 2008 by Patrick Altoft

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Comments (1)

Chris Lake

Chris Lake, CEO at Empirical Proof

Good stuff Patrick - you're quite right. If all search companies experience a dropoff then it suggests a wider market trend. It doesn't seem especially surprising to me. And besides, Google cannot be expected to show month-on-month growth until the end of time.

There are various real world factors... seasonality, for example, such as booking your summer holiday nice and early, and let's not forget that January is a big month for post-Christmas retail sales, when search activity will be high. It would naturally fall away in February.

Long term, there may be a drop off, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Less search activity could simply mean that search engines are delivering more relevant results, and / or that people are becoming savvier searchers (eg by adding extra keywords to find exactly what they want first time around).


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