From Citigroup’s Mark Mahaney this morning:
We Conducted Our Own Proprietary Study of Comparative Search Results – We three-screen tested 200 of the most popular current Search queries using Google, Yahoo!, and Bing.
- We found Google with either the most relevant results or tied for top relevancy 71% (142 Searches) of the time.
- We found Bing with either the most relevant results or tied for top relevancy 46% (92 Searches) of the time.
- And we found Yahoo! with either the most relevant results or tied for top relevancy 30% (59 Searches) of the time.
We view our study as generally validating the positive Bing reviews . . . but also demonstrating Google’s very strong position.
In Terms Of Stock Takeaways… – We find these datapoints incrementally positive for MSFT, incrementally negative for YHOO (although strategic options provide a bit of a hedge here and Street estimates appear to already assume Search market share erosion for YHOO), and generally neutral for GOOG.
In my initial discussion of Bing and Google on SEL the day Bing launched I said:
Some may look at the screens above and shrug. Indeed, some people have argued to me that Bing “has to be at least 50 percent better” than Google to start peeling away users loyal to Google (or Yahoo). Bing isn’t 50 percent better than Google. However, Bing does offer results that are, across the searches I conducted, highly competitive with Google and in some cases it offers features that are more user-friendly.
Given the strength of Google’s brand and its “ownership” of search Bing may struggle to make market share gains. However I predict that it will gain share. Those potential gains may come not at Google’s expense but rather from Ask, AOL or even Yahoo.