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March 26, 2008 3:17 PM

Yahoo, Microsoft search share declined in February, Nielsen reports

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Matching the trend reported last week in comScore's Internet search market share figures, Nielsen Online is out with its February report showing Google built on its enormous lead while Yahoo and Microsoft gave up ground.

Nielsen changed its reporting methodology last fall, so no year-over-year comparisons. These numbers compare U.S. search market share in February and January.

Google: January, 56.9%; February, 58.7%.
Yahoo: January, 19%; February, 17.6%.
MSN/Windows Live: January, 12.1%; February, 11.2%.
AOL: January, 4.7%; February, 5.2%. January, 2.4%; February, 2.5%.

Interesting to note that AOL saw an up-tick in market share last month.

Nielsen also reports "searches per searcher" -- a measurement of how "sticky" each provider's search service is. Microsoft's strategy last fall was to get existing users of its search to perform more searches. That's not happening.

The average MSN/Windows Live searcher made 28.2 queries in February, down from 30.1 in January. For Google, the trend went the other direction with 43.2 searches per searcher in February, up from 39.6.

Here's the Nielsen PDF.

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