Digital marketing intelligence source comScore yesterday released its February search statistics for the U.S. marketplace. According to this official press release on the comScore website, Google Sites “led the explicit core search market in February with 66.4 percent of search queries conducted”.
Google Sites gained 0.2 percent on January 2012, while Microsoft Sites gained 0.1 percent on January 2012 to achieve 15.3 percent of core searches for the month. The gap between Microsoft Sites and Yahoo! Sites widened considerably between January and February 2012, from 1.1 percent in January to 1.5 percent in February.
Yahoo! Sites performed badly in February, dropping 0.3 percent from January 2012 to achieve 13.8 percent of core searches in the U.S. marketplace. Ask Network achieved exactly the same share of core searches (3.0 percent) in February as in January, while AOL, Inc. lost another 0.1 percent of searches to achieve 1.5 percent of core searches in February.
According to comScore, 17.6 billion explicit core searches were conducted in February. Of these, 11.7 billion were conducted through Google Sites, while 2.7 billion were conducted through Microsoft Sites. Following close behind Microsoft Sites, Yahoo! Sites achieved 2.4 billion explicit core searches during February 2012 in the U.S. marketplace.
These enormous numbers demonstrate that users are still returning to the major search engines despite growing concerns about personal data collection by search engine operators. Nevertheless, the total number of explicit core searches fell by 1%, or just over 0.2 billion between January and February 2012, and the only provider to experience an increase in total explicit core search volume was Ask Network, which achieved a 2% increase in February over January 2012.
ComScore is one of the most respected providers of data related to the search industry. With so many core searches being conducted by users each month, it is hardly surprising that the search engine optimisation industry continues to thrive. Major search engine operators continue to battle with the problem of professional spam and sites containing low-quality content.