Comscore released the January 2010 rankings for search engines in the U.S. last week (source). In the release comScore indicated that Google lost 0.3% share of core search in the US in January 2010 (see below). This is the first indication that Google may be struggling to pick up additional market share from rivals, but data for the remainder of Q1 2010 is required to determine if Google has truly reached a search saturation point. If it has, we can expect Google revenue to stabilize or potentially drop but so far they continue to grow a healthy pace.
The big news is that Microsoft’s search engine Bing picked up an additional 0.6% share of US core search in January 2010 from rivals Yahoo!, AOL and Ask.com. As can be seen below, Bing has experienced strong growth in the past two quarters, which are mostly attributed to new deals (source).
Based on trending analysis of the comScore data, it seems that Bing will eclipse Yahoo sometime between August 2010 and November 2010 (the latter point based on Bing growing while Yahoo remaining the same). While Yahoo has announced a $100 M global marketing campaign to promote its revamped web portal (source), it may be too late to save the Yahoo brand. After all, we know that:
- Microsoft has given no indication that they’re going to spend money on search, even if it is a losing proposition. In addition to committing $100 M to market the search engine (source), Microsoft made numerous attempts to showcase Bing at the expense of Google. These include a exclusive alliance with News Corporation’s websites, including the Wall Street Journal (source) and deals to become the default search engine on the iPhone (source). Microsoft recently announced the integration of Bing search with Facebook (source), which means that 400 M social users will now see Bing search. For Microsoft to catch up to Google, they must produce a better search solution but they must remind consumers that Bing is a good solution.
- Traffic to Yahoo’s portal has lost significant market share over the past year. Yahoo properties’s share went from 67.7% in December 2008 (source) to 56.8% in December 2009 (source). The loss of eyeballs at both Yahoo and MyYahoo portal is likely the culprit of declining search market share.
While something big can always happen, it seems that Yahoo’s decline is inevitable. RIP Yahoo.
It seems that every day that goes by, another one of the user interface developers that I work with talks about how Internet Explorer 6 must die. Granted, they have plenty of justification for why this browser should go away. For example, Internet Explorer (aka, IE6) is “ancient” — it was released in late 2001 (source). It has serious security flaws (source) and Microsoft has moved on to release IE7 and IE8. But there’s a problem that non-developers seem to be ignoring.
While IE6 usage dropped significantly in early 2008/2009, the downward pressure has softened quite a bit this year. And a recent survey revealed that IE6 is used primarily at work and the majority of people unfortunately can’t upgrade/replace IE6 because they have insufficient privileges on their machines/their company won’t let them upgrade (source). So without significant force now, it may take another two years before IE drops to a level where enough developers stop coding UI tweaks for IE6. Since coding for IE6 takes significantly more time, marketers are unnecessarily spending money on outdated technology (like paying for a telephone land line or dial-up internet service).
Last week, six solid punches in one swing were taken at IE6. I am speaking about the announcement that Google is planning to phase out support for IE6 (source). The announcement indicated that key functionality in Google Docs and [international] Google Sites will be disrupted starting on March 1, 2010. Since no other popular web destination is stepping up to the plate, we’ve got to applaud Google which owns 6 of the top 20 destination on the web (source) for their efforts. So what we really need to do is convince several US-based companies, such as Microsoft (thank you @cubanx!), Yahoo! and Amazon, and Chinese companies, including Baidu, QQ.com and Sina.com.cn, to jumped on board. While it may feel like we’ve made progress, the short list below demonstrates that we still have a long road ahead of us.
Top 20 Companies that don’t support the IE must die movement:
- Google (starting 1-Mar-2010)
- Facebook (as of 24-Jul-2008)
- YouTube (starting 1-Mar-2010)
- Windows Live
- Blogger.com (starting 1-Mar-2010)
- Yahoo! Japan
- Google India (starting 1-Mar-2010)
- Google China (starting 1-Mar-2010)
- Google Germany (starting 1-Mar-2010)
I was meeting this week with one of my co-workers and we found that we needed to look at a web page. So, she opened Internet Explorer browser and started to enter an address but I quickly stopped her because I saw this:
If you don’t believe me, you should try the modified Yahoo Home page URL for yourself. It seems interesting because it reminds of another, slighly more popular search engine called Google:
If you look closely, you will notice the following similarities:
- Both use a minimalistic page design
- Both have links to Web, Images, and Videos; the remaining links are differnet
- Both embed their logo which serves as the primary way to identify which search engine you are using
This just strengthens my belief that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, considering the comScore revealed this week that Google had a 60% share of worldwide searches in August 2007 in comparison to Yahoo’s 14% share — that is a 4 fold greater share!
Yahoo definitely has some catching up to do regardless of how it looks.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The modified Yahoo home page is also available at www.search.yahoo.com. Additionally, MSN has joined the party. (Thank you to Webdosfera.com for pointing this out).