March ComScore Search Numbers Offer A Sign Of Hope For Google

ComScore released its search market share numbers tonight for March, 2009 and the first quarter. After a dip in February, the number of searches done in the U.S. on Google and the other top search engines recovered in March. ComScore estimates there were 9.125 billion searches done on Google last month, up 11 percent from February. That growth outpaced the growth at the other search engines (Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL, and Ask), resulting in Google gaining half a percentage point in market share to 63.7 percent.

On an annual basis, Google’s core U.S. search volume was up 41.7 percent for the month of March and 40.6 percent for the quarter. That exceeds Yahoo’s 25.5 percent annual growth for the quarter and Microsoft’s 13.9 percent growth.

ComScore’s estimates only cover domestic core search, and often don’t correlate directly with what Google itself reports, but if Google is seeing search volume re-accelerate that could mitiagte some of the other factors contributing to what analysts expect to be a bad quarter.

Here are the figures for growth in the quarter, the month, and total market share (courtesy of J.P. Morgan):

Y/Y Growth In Core U.S. Search Queries, Q1 2009 (Source: comScore qSearch)

Google 40.6%
Yahoo 25.2%
Microsoft 13.9%
Ask 10.6%
AOL 2.1%

Y/Y Growth In Core U.S. Search Queries, March 2009 (Source: comScore qSearch)

Google 41.7%
Yahoo 28.0%
Microsoft 17.7%
Ask 8.6%
AOL 1.5%

U.S. Core Search Share, March 2009 (Source: comScore qSearch)

Google 63.7% +0.5% m/m +3.9% y.y
Yahoo 20.5% -0.1% m/m -0.8% y/y
Microsoft 8.3% +0.1% m/m -1.1% y/y
AOL 3.7% -0.2% m/m -1.1 y/y
Ask 3.8% -0.3% m/m -0.9% y/y