ComScore search share now eyes 'core' search

Two categories of search market share will now be presented: one that only counts searches done with explicit intent, and one that takes a wider view of search.

ComScore has changed the way it measures market share in the search industry after deciding efforts to game the system had gone too far.

Comscore will no longer count searches conducted by clicking photo galleries as "explicit core search."
ComScore will no longer count searches conducted by clicking photo galleries as "explicit core search." Screenshot by Tom Krazit/CNET

The new methodology was released this week to financial analysts, and Search Engine Land has a detailed Q&A with ComScore on the new methods. The company now differentiates between "explicit core search," defined as "user engagement with a search service with the intent to retrieve search results," and "core search," basically everything else.

That means ComScore is now measuring different numbers for what most people would probably consider traditional search--typing a query into a search bar--and newer ways of integrating search results with news, photo galleries, and the like. Both Yahoo and Microsoft have been criticized for treating photo slideshows as "searches."

Changes aside, the new "explicit core search" numbers don't really change much of the dynamic in the search market. Google continues to rule the roost with 65.8 percent of the search market in July, although down slightly from June. Yahoo, despite receiving much of the criticism for gaming search results with slideshows, increased its share using the traditional definition from 16.7 percent in June to 17.1 percent in July.

Microsoft's Bing held steady at 11 percent of the market. Yahoo and Microsoft are starting to make the long-awaited transition to Bing-powered search results on Yahoo pages this week, and it will be interesting to see how these numbers change over the coming months.

Updated 2:39 p.m. PDT: Comscore released the official numbers, graph below.

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