Bing and Google Crush Yahoo! Again

Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) Bing and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) may be mortal enemies, but they're doing a great job as a tag team pummeling Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO  ) into irrelevance.

The latest comScore data find Microsoft and Google continuing to gain market share at Yahoo!'s expense. IAC's (Nasdaq: IACI  ) and the freshly liberated AOL (NYSE: AOL  ) also took their lumps, but Yahoo! is the one losing the biggest chunk of audience.


November 2009

October 2009

November 2008




















Source: comScore.

It's not a pretty place for Yahoo! to be -- going from commanding 20.4% of the market a year ago to a mere 17.5% slice today -- and it's not going to get better. If anything, Yahoo!'s share will continue to deteriorate as its search outsourcing deal with Microsoft kicks in. Why would Yahoo! regulars stick to Bing-flavored searches on Yahoo! when they can go directly to the source?

Yahoo!'s strengths in e-mail and news will help it avoid becoming the next AOL for the time being, but the fading dot-com rock star needs new tricks to avoid the inevitable slow death.

The company is also blessed with a cash-rich balance sheet, but it may not be able to buy its way out of its slump. It can't outspend Bing on marketing, and there aren't too many billion-dollar acquisitions that could turn Yahoo!'s fortunes around. Clearly the company has to do something, because stagnancy will only eat into Yahoo!'s audience with every passing month.

Do something, Yahoo! -- and do it soon.

What would it take to make Yahoo! relevant again? Let us know in the comment box below.

Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. Microsoft is a Motley Fool Options recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services, free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz wonders if we'll even be using search engines 10 years from now. 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. The Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (8) | Recommend This Article (8)

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 December 16, 2009, at 3:42 PM, Fool wrote:

    Buy Palm.

  • Report this Comment On December 16, 2009, at 4:24 PM, madmilker wrote:

    the Houyhnhnm’s of Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels are far from need to think "Taobao" and stop thinking about autoscrubbing our searches for words to sell.....

  • Report this Comment On December 16, 2009, at 4:29 PM, madmilker wrote:

    the Houyhnhnm’s of Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels are far from need to think "Taobao" and not autoscrubbing our searches for words to sell...

  • Report this Comment On December 16, 2009, at 5:07 PM, PSU69 wrote:

    GOOG close to piercing $600 a share. More GOOG phones hitting. Search share up. More web advertising programs are coming down the funnel in 2010. I see GOOG over $700 by the 4th of July.

  • Report this Comment On December 16, 2009, at 6:14 PM, WoodyDog1400 wrote:

    How bout Microsft just buy out Yahoo for real this time.. let's not drag the slow death out.

    GOOG at $700 is a short waiting to happen...

  • Report this Comment On December 16, 2009, at 7:54 PM, Varchild2008 wrote:

    Microsoft better watch it.... I'm finding myself gravitating towards GOOGLE because I can't find what I want on BING.

    Take for example: Search for a T.V. Show on BING....... Now search for the same T.V. show on Google...

    The problem? GOOGLE pulls up the main website for the T.V. Network that the T.V. Show is on as pretty much the first link on top.

    BING pulls 111,986 maybe?...donno...can't find it.....

  • Report this Comment On December 16, 2009, at 10:31 PM, mitleg wrote:

    I think they know that they will never beat Google in search. Frankly, Microsoft is in the same boat. Though I am concerned about investor perception of Yahoo's falling share, I like their recent moves. They have emphasized content and social networking products. They lead in News and Sports. They have a strong networking product in Flickr. Overall, I am mildly bullish going forward. They are one of the few content companies to be solidly profitable.

  • Report this Comment On December 17, 2009, at 2:00 PM, bhessel wrote:

    yeah, i think they are roadkill, but wouldn't it be fun if in going down they marketed their own smartphone product and called it the u-hoo! phone?

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