Bing gains show why Microsoft-Yahoo search deal is a dumb idea
Date: Saturday, March 13, 2010 @ 06:38:10 UTC
Topic: search engine


One of Microsoft's major justifications for the Yahoo search deal is scale. CEO Steve Ballmer has repeatedly asserted that greater scale would allow Microsoft to improve search accuracy. Just last week he told Search Marketing Expo West attendees: "The ability to put together Yahoo's volumes and Microsoft's volumes and use that in a way that improves the experience more, let's call it all involved parties, we think is absolutely fantastic."

But the scale argument presumes that Microsoft and Yahoo would combine search share. The deal is in place but not fully implemented, and already Microsoft's Bing is taking away search share from Yahoo -- not Google. In February, Bing's US search share reached 11.5 percent, up from 11.3 percent month over month, according to ComScore. Yahoo share declined to 16.8 percent from 17 percent during the same time period. In June 2009 -- the month before announcing their search deal -- Yahoo search share was 19.6 percent and Microsoft 8.4 percent. But Microsoft already was rising, because of the Bing launch and millions of dollars in supporting advertising. For perspective, Google search share was 65.5 percent in February and 65 percent in June 2009.

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