Is Google losing ground?
I guess the answer to that technically has to be yes. The latest data from comScore shows Google’s share of the US search market dropping from 65.1% in March to 64.4% in April. This drop of about 1% hardly seems cataclysmic, but the overall year-to-date drop is about 1.5%, which can’t be sitting too well with the folks in Mountain View.
The bigger problem is that the competition is gaining. Yahoo! and Bing both saw modest increases (Bing’s being barely statistically significant). These gains may be small (about a 4.7% increase in share for Yahoo!), but they do reverse a trend. Since Bing was launched last year, all of the gains that it saw in its share of search seemed to be coming at the expense of Yahoo!, while Google remained steady or even gained share (see this post from January).
As the highly anticipated Yahoo!-Bing deal comes ever closer to becoming SERP reality, it will be very interesting to see where these share numbers go, particularly with Google’s new three-column design that actually makes it look and behave a little more like its competition.
I picture Sergey Brin looming over his engineers, evoking Vizzini’s rant at Fezzik in The Princess Bride:
You were supposed to be this colossus; you were this great, legendary thing, and yet he gains!