As if the folks over in Microsoft’s search division didn’t have enough woes in their lives lately (and by “lately” I mean for all the years after people started using search engines) the data released by ComScore yesterday paints a bleak picture. Until yesterday they were at least able to call themselves one of the big three. It appears that they can no longer claim even that. And who is the engine that overtook them? Could Ask finally be making some moves forward? No, the “newcomer” is likely an engine most of you may not have heard of if you’re from North America. The engine is Baidu.com and it’s the primary search engine in China (did you think that might have been Google.cn after all the hoopla over their expansion into there and the debates over their censoring search results?)
The current marketshare for August 2007 breaks down as follows:
Search Property Searches
Google Sites 37,094,000,000
Yahoo! Sites 8,549,000,000
Baidu.com Inc 3,253,000,000
Microsoft Sites 2,166,000,000
NHN Corporation 2,044,000,000
Time Warner Network 1,212,000,000
Ask Network 743,000,000
Fox Interactive Media 683,000,000
Lycos, Inc. 441,000,000
Another interesting fact is that this does not include access from cyber cafes or cell phones and PDA’s. The Asian market is lightyears ahead of us in their us of their portable devices as full-scale Internet devices which could further influence the results in favor of engines such as Baidu.com if they were counted.
Another good question you might want to ask is, who the heck is NHN Corporation? They’re a Korean engine and they’re right on the heels of Microsoft as well.
Does this reflect a dramatic shift in the engines? In my opinion, not really. We’re all used to hearing the data relative to North American or US-based numbers. This is the first comprehensive study of worldwide search behavior that we have been exposed to (that I’ve heard of at least) and it appears that the Asian market is far more active that many of us may have assumed. In retrospect, if we had really though of it, would we have been surprised? I for one am not shocked by the data but it has reminded me that there are important markets outside of North America and Europe and it’s high time we started paying closer attention to them.
To read the full take on the ComScore data you can read the ComScore press release from yesterday here.