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Microsoft and Yahoo Search Share Grows but Still Trails Google by Miles

Both Yahoo and Microsoft are continuing to nibble away at Google‘s massive search market share, according to the latest figures released by ComScore, aided by millions of dollars in spending and growing digital footprints.

In November 2015, Google’s market share was 64%, compared with 21% for Microsoft and 12.5% for Yahoo. That’s a slight dip for Google from the month a year earlier, when it had 67% share, and a slight improvement for Microsoft, up from 19.5%, and Yahoo, up from 10.3%.

While Google’s loss in market share might seem small, both Yahoo and Microsoft have gone to great lengths to achieve it.

Yahoo, for example, spent more than $223 million on traffic acquisition in the third quarter of 2015. That’s nearly four times what it spent a year earlier. The company also struck a deal to be the default search engine for Mozilla’s Firefox browser.

Almost five years ago, Yahoo had the second largest search market share with 17.3%, but it lost ground over time to Microsoft’s Bing.

Bing, for its part, finally became profitable in 2015, with some of that success being attributed to Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system. In October, the company said that 20% of all its search revenue derived from Windows 10 devices.

The latest numbers from Microsoft reveal that more than 110 million users have downloaded Windows 10. Bing might see continued growth in the near future as Microsoft is shooting for 1 billion people to download its operating system by 2018.

While both Yahoo and Microsoft have continued to ramp up their efforts, however, Google isn’t standing still, trying to position itself for an increasingly mobile future. Earlier this year, Google said for the first time ever that more of its users’ searches were originating on mobile devices than on desktop. The company’s Android mobile operating system has 51% market share in the U.S., according to ComScore.

Microsoft’s mobile operating system, meanwhile, has a 3% market share.

Google has also been paying Apple billions of dollars to be the default search engine for its Safari browser.

While Google doesn’t break out how much it makes from mobile, the company saw approximately $59.1 billion in ad revenue in 2014. Of that, $11.8 billion came from mobile search and about 75% was generated through the deal with Apple to be the default search engine for the iPhone and iPad Safari browser, according to a report from Goldman Sachs earlier this year.


From, 12-23-2015, copyright Crain Communications Inc. 2013