Search Rankings Show Microsoft Growth

New search engine rankings from market analysis firm comScore find that Microsoft’s Internet search offerings showed the most growth between February and March 2007, while Yahoo’s search business showed a month-to-month decline.

The new rankings show Internet search offerings on Microsoft sites showed 0.4 percent change from February to March, moving from a 10.5 percent share of U.S. online searches to a 10.9 percent share. However, Google continued to occupy the top slot,garnering 48.3 percent of online searches in March, compared to 48.1 percent in February, a percent change of 0.2 percent. Internet portal Yahoo, however, saw its share of the search market decline month to month from 28.1 percent to 27.5 percent. Rounding out the top five search engines, Ask.com saw a 0.2 percent increase to 5.2 percent of searches, and Time Warner Network sites (e.g., AOL) garnered a 5.0 percent share, up from 4.9 percent.

Overall, comScore says Americans performed 7.3 billion online searches during March of 2007, which represents a 6 percent increase over February 2007, and a 14 percent increase over March of 2006. In raw numbers, Google garnered 3.5 billion searches, followed by Yahoo at 2 billion, Microsoft with 98 million, Ask.com with 379 million, and Time Warner with 368 million.

The new figures firm comScore somewhat contradict recent search engine ranking figures from analysis firm Hitwise, which recently reported that Google handled 64.13 percent of all U.S. Internet searches. Generally speaking, comScore attributes a smaller proportion of the U.S. search market to Google and a greater portion to Yahoo. The differences serve to highlight the different sampling methods used by analysis firms; Hitwise pulls its data from a sample of 10 million Internet users; comScore’s figures are derived from data from more than 2 million consumers to have opted-in to letting comScore monitor their Internet habits.

Microsoft’s apparent uptick in search engine rankings may stem from increased use of Microsoft Vista and Internet Explorer 7, both of which focus on Microsoft’s Live.com services by default.

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