Searching for Investing Clues

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) Bing will probably never catch up to Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) in search, but the spunky engine is doing everything that it can to gradually close the gap.

Fresh data out of comScore on Friday reveals that Google and Bing continue to gain market share at the expense of Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO  ) , AOL (NYSE: AOL  ) , and IAC's (Nasdaq: IACI  )

It's hard to grasp the gravity of the data from comScore's press release because it really only pits February to January. Sequentially speaking, the moves aren't much. Google and Bing took baby steps forward. Yahoo! and AOL took baby steps back. held its own, and it was actually the only portal of the five to grow its query volume in February (compared to the slightly longer month of January).

However, if we go back to comScore's data from February of last year -- and the year before -- you begin to see how this is becoming a two-horse race with Big G firmly in the lead.


Feb. 12

Feb. 11

Feb. 10

Google 66.4% 65.4% 65.5%
Bing 15.3% 13.6% 11.5%
Yahoo! 13.8% 16.1% 16.8% 3% 3.2% 3.7%
AOL 1.5% 1.7% 2.5%

Source: comScore.

According to comScore, there were nearly 17.6 billion search queries performed in this country last month. Google continues to watch over roughly two-thirds of that volume. Bing continues to grow in popularity, and it becomes clear with every passing year that Yahoo! agreeing to let Mr. Softy pay to take over its search business isn't worth the proceeds.

Yahoo! is losing search traffic to Bing -- just as it lost it to Google a decade earlier when it outsourced its search through Google. A year ago, Yahoo! was clinging to the silver medal, but now it's settling for bronze.

This doesn't mean that this is good news for Microsoft. Manning the search queries and serving up the paid search for both Bing and Yahoo! is great, but Yahoo! is losing ground quicker than Bing is taking it. Bing and Yahoo! combined for 29.7% of the search market a year ago and now they grab just 29.1%.

I may be stating the obvious, but now wouldn't be a bad time for Microsoft to consider a play for either or AOL. Either an outright purchase of striking a Yahoo!-esque deal makes sense at the right price.

Bing matters, but it's going to have to do a lot more than it's doing now.

You say you want a revolution
The boom in mobile search has helped out the search engine leaders. A new special report singles out three winners in the iPhone, iPad, and Android revolution. The report is free, but it won't be around forever, so check it out now.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo. Motley Fool newsletter services have also recommended creating a bull call spread position in Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.

Read/Post Comments (1) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On March 12, 2012, at 8:44 PM, jdwelch62 wrote:

    Personally, I own Microsft and not Google, but when I need to search the interweb, I go straight to Google. I've never even tried Bing. Why bother? I guess I should break out of my comfort zone and try new things every now and then, but... I used to be a heavy Yahoo! user when I needed a search, but ever since I found out about Google about 6 years ago, I haven't bothered; Yahoo! changed things around so much it was difficult to look up what had previously been at my fingertips, so I'm not surprised they're losing ground. Otherwise, nice summary, thanks...


Add your comment.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 1811534, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/22/2016 6:03:43 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 20 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,145.71 -16.64 -0.09%
S&P 500 2,141.16 -0.18 -0.01%
NASD 5,257.40 15.57 0.30%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

12/31/1969 7:00 PM
AOL.DL $0.00 Down +0.00 +0.00%
AOL CAPS Rating: *
GOOGL $824.06 Up +2.43 +0.30%
Alphabet (A shares… CAPS Rating: *****
IAC $66.19 Up +0.36 +0.55%
IAC/InterActiveCor… CAPS Rating: *****
MSFT $59.66 Up +2.41 +4.21%
Microsoft CAPS Rating: ****
YHOO $42.17 Down -0.21 -0.50%
Yahoo CAPS Rating: **