Each month comScore puts together search engine ranking information, analyzing the US marketplace using their qSearch methodology and database. It’s a good indicator of not only the intricate dance that the major search engines continue to do overall, but also provides info on the number of search queries plus the number of search queries for 20 or so of the top properties themselves. Although the overall percent rankings don’t change that much from month to month for the major search engines as a rule, those for specific properties do.
For April, as compared to the figures for March, Yahoo! Sites showed the most change of the top core search entities, with a 0.8% increase (from 16.9% share of searches to 17.7% share), while Google lost almost as much (65.1% down to 64.4%), Microsoft stayed virtually the same (11.7% to 11.8%), and both Ask and AOL each dropped 0.1% (3.8% to 3.7% for Ask; 2.5% to 2.4% for AOL).
There’s a little more movement in the figures for number of search queries for specific properties. Again, the largest properties are pretty stable. Google stayed virtually the same (0% change), although Google Sites overall dropped 2%. Bing dropped 2%, while Microsoft Sites overall jumped 1%. The most significant change was in both Yahoo! and Yahoo! Sites, both of which grew 6% from March to April in terms of their share of the number of search queries.
But the largest changes fall in some of the individual properties. For example, Fox Interactive Media dropped 23%, from 406 million to 312 million searches. MySpace also dropped 23%, from 402 million in March to 309 million in April. On the other hand, Amazon Sites improved 8%, from 226 million in March to 245 million search queries in April. It will be interesting to see if the intro of the iPad affects Amazon’s share with next month’s figures.
Of course, as with all statistics, caution is warranted. There is always a margin of error lurking in the background that can change things if it applies. Plus, over time, many of the properties seem to just trade the same percentage points back and forth. But, the comScore stats are one that you should make a habit of keeping an eye on, given that they are an ongoing analysis of the state of the internet (at least in the US) and, since they are based on the same set of research points each month, they are an excellent source whose data can safely be compared from month to month. Here’s a link to their Press Releases area of their site where you can check out the results of their latest studies (you can even sign up for an RSS feed of their press releases if you want to receive notice when the results of such items as their monthly search ranking report is released).