Google loses some ground in latest comScore figures

But loss split evenly among Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL
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In the latest search engine market share numbers from comScore, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) lost 3/10 of a point in market share, but Bing, Yahoo and AOL ended up splitting the loss with 1/10 of a point each.

The scores cover the period from November 12 through December 12 of last year. Google finished the period with 66.7 percent, down from 67.0 percent the previous month. Meanwhile, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) finished with 16.3 percent, as it continues to edge its way up ever so slowly.

Yahoo remained in third with 12.2 percent. Ask was fourth holding steady for the period at 3 percent, and AOL brought up the rear with 1.8 percent.

As for the total number of searches for the period, they were up four percent to 17,628 million searches for the month. For this metric, Google garnered a four percent increase to 11,763 million searches. Bing was up 5 percent to 2,867 million, so while Google remains well ahead, Bing has found a way to creep forward again in its overall numbers and this has to be encouraging for Microsoft.

Perhaps the best measure of market share though is the "Powered by" metric. According to a comScore spokesperson, "'Powered By' looks at which engine is powering the search, independent of where that search occurs. Google powers AOL search and Bing powers much of Yahoo search, so that's what the numbers ultimately represent. The standard view of search reports on which content brand is hosting the search (i.e., AOL) independent of who is powering the search."

And those numbers are even more encouraging for Bing because when you combine the overall figures, Bing has 25.6 percent and Google, 69.1. Microsoft is never going to get the kind of market share that Google enjoys, but if it can continue to grow incrementally, that's a positive step and the company should be pleased to see it.

For more information, including charts with all these numbers:
- see the comScore press release

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