Why everyone wins in July’s search engine market results

Yahoo gained some ground while search leader Google lost some footing in July’s search engine market.

This is according to ComScore’s data, released today. Yahoo had 16.1 percent market share in July, up from 15.9 percent in June, while Google held steady at 65.1 percent, just barely down from 65.5 percent in June.

Yahoo’s move is the most exciting news to come out of today’s data. The company’s search share hadn’t budged since April 2011, ComScore reported.

Microsoft’s search engine Bing held steady in the ratings at 14.4 percent, but since Microsoft actually powers Yahoo’s search, Yahoo’s gain is also Bing’s gain. The companies’ combined effort, currently a 30.5 percent share, has gained significant market share in five of the last seven months, chipping away at Google’s block.

Month-to-month fluctuations in search engine query market share don’t mean much, explained search engine guru Danny Sullivan. He has covered the topic for more than 15 years and currently oversees SearchEngineLand.com. Sullivan said year-to-year data is what really matters.

“Google is relatively static,” Sullivan said regarding the company’s year-to-year data. “They’re usually around the 65 percent range. While month-to-month changes are relatively insignificant, Yahoo did go up in July. One month isn’t saying much, but they should keep doing whatever it was they did.”

Over the long term, Google has maintained its shares of the search engine market while Microsoft has gained shares, generally at the expense of Yahoo, Sullivan explained.

Sullivan said explicit core search market share numbers are important data. They’re basically “real search numbers. “Remember that all of these companies actually had an increase in number of searches,” said Sullivan. “No one dropped in search volume. There’s a bigger pie in searches.”

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