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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

March 3, 2006 at 10:45 AM

MSN losing ground in search market

Nielsen//NetRatings said today that Web searches rose 39 percent year-over-year in January 2006 to 5.7 billion. That’s a record for a one-month period.

The top three search engines had flat to negative market share growth over that time. Google grew about 2 percent and Yahoo! was up 1 percent, but MSN Search dropped nearly 2 percent. Here’s how the big three stacked up:

Google Search: Jan. 05 share 47.1%, Jan. 06 share 48.2%, Change 1.1%

Yahoo! Search: Jan. 05 share 21.2%, Jan. 06 share 22.2%, Change 0.9%

MSN Search: Jan. 05 share 12.8%, Jan. 06 share 11.0%, Change -1.8%

Oh, and the Microsoft exec who promised to be better than Google in six months has clarified his position. Posting on John Battelle’s Searchblog, Neil Holloway writes:

What I did say is that we are committed to investing in R&D aimed at providing a search service, initially in the US in six months, that performs better than the current industrywide standard of one in two URLs being connected to the subject of the original query. I also said that our aim is to perform as good, or better, in that respect than Google. This is a long-term goal. I did not put a date to it as this is work in progress.

Ken Moss, general manager of Web search at MSN, adds his two cents on his blog:

“We won’t try to predict the progress of our competitors and so we won’t forecast when we might take the lead, but this is a long-term game and we are committed to helping drive the next wave of innovation in search for our customers.”

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