June: Battle of the Search Engines. Let’s look at the real numbers


Saw an article in the AFR today around the June performance of the search engines.

It had Bing at 2.35m, Google at 9.52m and Yahoo! search at 3.37m

The Yahoo! numbers felt high to me. These were all apparently Nielsen numbers.

The Search Engine battle is an interesting one so I thought I’d run the numbers myself out of Netview.

Oddly, the numbers were different. Completely different.

If we look at user numbers it looks like this …

Google Search – 9.85m
Bing Search – 2.41m
Yahoo! Search – 1.52m

At first impression I’m not sure where the AFR is getting their numbers. All the figures are different to what Netview is reporting for June 2009 and the Yahoo! figure Shoebridge states is more than double what Nielsen is claiming (the assumption would have to be this is a supplied figure from internal logs as neither Google or Bing or Yahoo!7 search is covered under Market Intelligence).

But search is about a lot more than just user numbers … the key is loyalty.

So lets look at sessions per user

Google – 12.6
Yahoo! – 3.9
Bing – unreported

And lets look at Page Views per person

Google – 69
Yahoo! – 16
Bing – 14

Google is still light years ahead of both competitors. It will take 6 months at least to see the real impact of Bing, and the impact of Yahoo! has been insignificant for the past 2 years in terms of search in this market.

On my estimates the search climate looks something like this in terms of market share

Google – 92.3%
Bing – 4.6%
Yahoo! – 3.3%

So has Bing made a dent in either Google or Yahoo!? It’s probably too early to tell. The metric that will be used to show this is unique browsers but this isn’t correct as it can’t measure the quality of the user. In June Google added 400k users and Yahoo! added 100k users … but it’s hard to work out whether these were loyal users or just trial users who did one search and left.

All numbers sourced from Neilsen Netview, June 2009

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One response to “June: Battle of the Search Engines. Let’s look at the real numbers

  1. While no expert, everything I’ve read and researched has shown that Bing has cannibalized a decent amount of Yahoo! traffic. Now, whether it’s simply short term advertising generated or more long term, truly converted traffic has yet to be seen… My guess, for what it’s worth, is a nice, unsustainable blip from advertising.

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