Google and Bing/Yahoo are fighting a different battle

Another sign of how figures can distort perception. Comscore released a press release last friday in which they shed some new light (at least, for me) on the Google vs Microsoft/Yahoo battle.

So, where were we? Google has a share of search of 65.0%, while Microsoft and Yahoo combined have a share of 28.0%. That should be enough for some people at Microhoo to start to cry and scream for surrender. HOWEVER, Google has a searcher penetration of 84.0%, while Microhoo has 73.3%. So, while most searches (by far) are conducted via Google, nearly three-quarters of all searchers use Bing/Yahoo at least once a month. Searchers just use Google more often.

Eli Goodman, comScore Search Evangelist:

“While they are still looking up at Google in terms of market share, they have a real opportunity to make headway given that nearly three-quarters of all searchers conduct at least one search on these engines every month. The challenge will be to create a search experience compelling enough to convert lighter searchers into regular searchers which is generally easier than converting new users. Though clearly easier said than done, if they were to equalize the number of searches per searcher with Google they would command more than 40 percent market share.”

This makes for a totally different battle than I thought there was. The Bing/Yahoo goal isn’t just to increase share of search and to start by evangelising Bing and Yahoo; they are one step closer to their goal, next up: convert the existing searchers to more loyal searchers. It is a loyalty battle, not an awareness or a trial battle anymore.

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