Google Leads in Search, Bing Gains and Yahoo Slumps

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With Google and Microsoft Bing taking slightly bigger bites out of the search market, rival Yahoo is hitting a bit of a slump.

Market analysis firm comScore Inc. announced this afternoon that between September and October, both Google and Bing inched ahead. The increases were far from dramatic but at least they saw increases.

According to comScore, Bing's share rose from from 9.4% to 9.9%. At the same time, Google saw a share bump, moving from 64.9% to 65.4%. While comScore hasn't yet made all the figures available, analysts did confirm that Google in October saw a 17.4% year-over-year increase.

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Yahoo, which remains in second place between market leader Google and third-place Bing, didn't have such a strong month . Yahoo saw its share slip, slipping from 18.8% in September to 18% last month, according to comScore.

Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research, Inc., said Google, with steady control of more than 60% of market share, is such a force to be reckoned with that Bing is doing well to make even modest headway.

"Bing has established a position that is, for now, stable," said Gottheil. "If Bing innovates effectively, it can move forward. It's in a not bad position, considering Google's momentum, but there's nothing happening now to show that it can take share from Google. With Google, it's not so much about growth any more, but the large number of people for whom Google is the search engine. Google is an ocean liner. It's going to take a lot of effort and a lot time to slow it down."

When it comes to Yahoo, Gottheil said the company's search presence is on a downhill slide that could become hard to control.

"Yahoo's search engine now is a lame duck," he added. "Yahoo has been on a long-term decline. The battle between Bing and Google raises awareness about search engine capabilities, and may drive some users to try other products, but basically, Yahoo has not given its search engine users a good reason to stay."

In September, comScore reported that Bing increased its share of the competitive market by 4.5% between July and August. The new search engine held a 9.3% share of the market at the end of August.

Also that month, comScore noted that Google had slipped 0.1% to hold 64.6% of the market at the end of August.

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