Microsoft: We have the searchers; now we need the searches

Both ComScore's and Compete's latest search data show Microsoft finally gaining noticeably in search share. Microsoft isn't satisfied, however. The company believes it is still has a way to go to increase searchers' engagement levels.

How much of an effect did Microsoft's decision to award prizes for search-based games drive up its search marketshare for the month of June?

If you put your stock in numbers released last week by Compete, it would seem like Microsoft's Live Search Club was a huge driver of a substantial surge in Microsoft search traffic. If you rely on newly released data from ComScore, Microsoft's gain is a lot more modest -- although still impressive. Whichever set of data you believe, Microsoft's search share definitely rose in a noticeable way last month.

ComScore's new search market share data, released July 16, has Microsoft up 2.9 percent in June, with 13.2 percent of all U.S. online searches. (Google had 49.5 percent and Yahoo 25.1 percent of the searches done in June, according to ComScore. Both were down slightly.)

Even after adjusting its numbers to remove gains from the Live Search Club, Compete still had Microsoft gaining in search share in June, with 9.1 percent share. (Compete said if Live Search club searches were included, Microsoft had 13.2 percent share.)

Brad Goldberg, General Manager of Microsoft's Search Business Unit, said Microsoft was upbeat about the latest data.

Up until now, "month-to-month, we've gained a twentieth of a point here and there," Goldberg said. "But we've been experimenting with a variety of (search-related) programs," including Live Search Club, "and that's driving the uptick."

Goldberg's most interesting insight: "We have 30 percent of the searchers out there" willing to try Live Search. "But we have ten percent of the query share." Microsoft's take-away: "We are trying to focus on ways to increase engagement."


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