Comscore search calculation changes still leave Microsoft as a distant third

Comscore is changing the way it calculates search market share. But the changes it is making aren't helping Microsoft any.

Comscore is changing the way it calculates search market share. But the changes it is making aren't helping Microsoft any.

The Comscore July search-share for the main handful of search engines was calculated using some of the new elements its new qSearch 2.0 methodology. The results: Google remained the runaway search leader, with 55.2 percent. Yahoo had 23.5 percent and Microsoft, 12.3 percent.

In June, Microsoft's search share was up nearly 3 percent, according to Comscore. Google had 49.5 percent share; Yahoo 25.1 percent; and Microsoft 13.2 percent.

Microsoft isn't bitter about Comscore's new scoring system, though. According to a statement from Brad Goldberg, General Manager of Search Marketing with Microsoft's Search Business Unit.

"We are pleased to see market share and query volume for Live Search  continue to grow in July, as all third-party indices are reporting. Notably, the refinements comScore has instituted with qSearch 2.0 are positive for the industry and advertisers, as its methodology more accurately measures search traffic sources that are core to customer engagement and enables advertisers to get the most out of search."

qSearch 2.0 is designed to provide a more accurate picture of how and where individuals search, according to Comscore.

"Previously, the search universe was defined as searches occurring at the major Web search engines," explained Comscore in its press release, issued on August 20. "With search becoming a more ubiquitous activity across the Web, comScore is expanding the market view of the search universe to encompass other searches that occur on the Internet."

New data sources for Comscore's monthly search share data will include, going forward,

  • The five major U.S. search engines (Google sites, Yahoo sites, Microsoft sites, Ask Network and Time Warner Network)
  • The top 50 worldwide properties engaged in search (MySpace, Baidu, Naver, etc.)
  • Major vertical search sites (eBay, Amazon, Expedia, et.)
  • Partner search (where users are redirected to other sites)
  • Cross-channel search (sites using more than one search tab, like "Web," "Images" and "News"
  • Local Search
  • And more input from more countries other than the U.S.

The core search engine rankings will not incorporate all of this data, however. As Comscore explains:

"As before, share will be determined using the five major search engines (Google Sites, Yahoo! Sites, Microsoft Sites, Ask Network and Time Warner Network) but will now include the partner searches and cross-channel searches in the total for each property. To keep this metric consistent with past reporting, searches for mapping, local directory, and user-generated video sites that are not on the core domain of the five search engines will not be included in the 'core search' numbers."