Oops! Compete Shorted Yahoo’s Search Share

    June 19, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

The numbers didn’t crunch very well for May’s US search engine market share figures at analysis firm Compete, as it seems they dramatically undercounted Yahoo’s slice.

In following the search industry, we appreciated Compete’s entry into the mix. Their site provides a well-crafted way of quickly looking at one or more websites, and comparing them by various metrics.

Compete branched out into tracking search market share, providing a monthly comparison of who’s gathering what percentages. Google easily tops this list month after month, with Yahoo and Microsoft trailing in second and third place.

Yahoo’s position has dwindled by Compete’s assessment over the course of a year. As it turns out, it decreased far more than mathematically correct, Danny Sullivan pointed out at Search Engine Land.

A reader at Search Engine Land pointed out that the regular expressions (regex) posted by Compete, which they use to cull search data out of the web traffic information they gather, cause a miscount of Yahoo’s share.

Compete later acknowledged a problem with the regex they used to gather Yahoo’s search share. Sullivan posted a list of what the revised figures will look like: Google at 67 percent, Yahoo at 18.6 percent, MSN/Live including Club Live at 9.9 percent.

If anything, the figures demonstrate the potential gain Microsoft could realize, should they come back to the negotiating table and acquire Yahoo. Doing so would virtually triple their search market share, a change that has to be worth billions to the company.