comScore recently released information on the state of the U.S. search engine market, and it comes as no surprise that Yahoo is still struggling to keep up with their competition. There are a few reasons that this might be the case, including Yahoo's search deal that they made with Microsoft to provide Bing results for their search queries, and the refocusing efforts of CEO Marissa Mayer. Watch today's video to learn about the statistics released by comScore on current search engine marketshare, and where Yahoo lies in the current world of search.


Hello, and welcome to the Daily Brown Bag. Today we’re going to be talking about Yahoo! and what happened to Yahoo!. I’m Chad Hill, and I’m joined by Adam Stetzer.

Yeah, good morning, Chad. So, the news we’re reporting this morning is comScore information for the U.S. search market. This is an analysis for September of 2013. Here’s some of the numbers: 18.7 billion searches conducted in total with 12.5 billion of those on Google, 3.4 billion on Microsoft sites, and 2.1 billion coming in for Yahoo!. These are not big shifts in how the search market falls out.

Google still owns the lion’s share and is really the market leader coming in at just about 67% of searches, and that’s pretty flat compared to August of 2013. Bing is the runner-up at 18%, which is up just a teeny bit, a tenth of a percent, from August, and Yahoo! is hanging in there in third place with about 11%, down just a tenth of a percent from August and tied with an all-time low set-back in July. So Bing seems to be making a little bit of headway. We’ve been talking a lot about the Bing It On Challenge and the other marketing tactics they’ve been using, and we talk about Google pretty much every day in the search game. But, what about Yahoo!? Are they still in the game here?

It’s amazing, Yahoo! is sort of the one who invented the directory and evolved that into search, so it’s amazing that we’re not even talking about them. I think the main reason for that, Adam, is that back in 2010, they made the decision under some desire to save costs to basically use Bing results in Yahoo search. So it seems kind of odd, but if you think back to 2010, Yahoo! was in decline and they decided that a deal with Microsoft to have Bing search results would make sense.

But Marissa Mayer, a very important Google executive, since then has moved over and is now the CEO and has made a number of investments at Yahoo!. They’ve seen their overall audience growing, so they’re up about 20% from when she picked up the company, so those are good things and they’ve been making investments and re-vamping their mail product. They’ve been playing with user interface of search, but at the end of the day, one of the reasons I think they’re not seeing any big gains in search is because they’re not really providing the search results. It’s Bing search results, and it actually says it in the Yahoo! results, so it’s sort of pushing people to have a little bit more awareness of Bing and to go there to conduct their searches.

Yeah, and I think the other big thing is the financials for Yahoo!. Their display revenue is down 7% from last year at $421 million. Facebook and Google still really rule when it comes to ads and internet advertising revenue. If you look at the breakdown of digital ad revenue expected here in 2013, you’ve got Google at a whopping 33% of the revenue, Facebook at 5.4%, and Yahoo! clocking in at just under 3%, so while they struggle to maintain their search share, their revenue’s actually declining.

Yeah, it’s always hard to make big bets, so your question might be, “Well, with Marissa Mayer at the helm, will they decide to jump back in and maybe do some more with search?” My guess is that they’ll probably approach it with a different perspective. They’ve re-vamped Yahoo! answers, and a lot of people think that more editorial reviewed Q&A is a great type of search. So my guess is that they’ll continue to invest in other products, stay away from the search as Bing and Google define it, and another example of that is that they just recently re-vamped Yahoo! Mail, but not everything is rosy, because a number of people who use Yahoo! Mail say, “Hey, you’ve made it look more like Gmail. We actually don’t like Gmail, that’s why we use Yahoo!,” so this game is really tough in this technical space when you’re up against these huge competitors like Google and, of course, Microsoft and Facebook, so Yahoo!’s really trying to carve out where it’s niche is and figure out how it’s going to be different from these behemoths out there.

Yeah, it seems like they’re in a tough spot. They try to follow and they’re called copycats, and they try to diverge and their product isn’t as good. We’d be interested in your thoughts. We’ve been talking about Bing and the Bing It On Challenge. I’d like to hear from folks watching this video. Do you ever use Yahoo! search? Do you ever tell your clients to use it? And, we’d sure like it if you’d subscribe to this video series.