Google grabs search share from Microsoft

Apple could mount a mobile search challenge that gains traction on the desktop -- without spending 1 percent of what Microsoft has thrown at Bing

This has to hurt. Microsoft's losing tons of money on Bing and still can't pull any more search market share.

The report with comScore's October 2011 Explicit Core Search results show that in the United States, Google has moved up from 65.3 percent market share in September to 65.6 percent in October.

At the same time, Yahoo sites dipped from 15.5 percent to 15.2 percent and Microsoft sites improved slightly from 14.7 percent to 14.8 percent. When you combine the two, Microsoft-driven searches fell from 30.2 percent to 30.0 percent.

Google's increase in market share came at a time when the total number of explicit core searches increased by 6 percent, from 17.1 to 18.1 billion. That's 6 percent in one month. There's a whole lotta searchin' goin' on.

Yahoo, Microsoft, and AOL are ganging up to fight Google on the advertising sales front, with the three entering into an alliance to sell leftover display ad slots. But where the rubber meets the road, in the total number of searches, Google's still king.

Mobile search still rates as the great unknown, and the numbers are spotty. Eric Schmidt may have many ulterior motives in claiming that the iPhone's Siri voice service poses a threat to Google's search. Certainly, the volume of Siri-ous searches doesn't amount to a hill of beans. Just as clearly, though, mobile search is poised to take off. Google's already fighting back with mobile voice search. But Apple could mount a credible mobile challenge that could even get traction on the desktop.

Want to bet that a year from now Apple (and maybe even Facebook) start to nibble away at Google and Microsoft/Yahoo's search market share? And they'll do it without spending even 1 percent of the amount that Microsoft has thrown at Bing.

This story, "Google grabs search share from Microsoft," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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