Google’s Morbid Search-Market Obesity

Published on May 14, 2008
by John Paczkowski


We see little to stop Google from reaching 70% market share eventually; the question, really, comes down to, ‘How long could it take?’ “

RBC Capital Markets analyst Jordan Rohan, March 2006

Not long at all, really.

According to new metrics from Hitwise, Google’s share of the U.S. Internet search market grew to 67.9%–a 4% increase year-over-year. Google’s growth apparently came at the expense of rivals Yahoo and Microsoft. Though it claimed the second-largest share of the search market, Yahoo (YHOO) slipped to 20.28% from the 20.73% share it held a year ago. Microsoft’s (MSFT) Live Search, ranked third behind Yahoo, fell to 6.26% from 7.77% in that same period.

Seems the two companies’ recent efforts to differentiate their search offerings from Google’s haven’t done much to boost their respective market shares. Nor will they ever if the Google juggernaut continues as it has. As Credit Suisse analyst Heath Terry once noted, search is a natural monopoly business and there’s a decent chance that over time, Google will continue to gain share until it’s claimed most of the market.

And that may happen sooner than we think. Google’s closing in on 70% market share already. “By this time next year,” Silicon Alley Insider’s Henry Blodget writes, “Google’s search business will be larger and more profitable than the most profitable and legendary monopoly in history–Microsoft Windows.”

Return to: Google’s Morbid Search-Market Obesity