The latest search numbers are out which shows that Google still has a commanding lead over the alliance of Microsoft and Yahoo, known as MicroHoo. Google’s number show that the company commands a whopping 65% of the market with MicroHoo trailing with 28%. The report also indicates that Google commands a user loyalty which continues to keep it in the #1 position.

But what is interesting is that some news agencies are coining the term searcher penetration in which the numbers between the two camps narrows sharply. According to one article it states these facts:

But by another important measure, the two sides are much closer. ComScore found that for the combined Yahoo-Microsoft, “searcher penetration,” or the percentage of the online population in the United States that uses one of those search engines, is 73 percent. Google’s searcher penetration is higher, but not by that much: at 84 percent.

The difference between the two ways of measuring is frequency of use. Users of Yahoo-Microsoft on average searched just under 27 times in a month on those sites, whereas users of Google searched on average 54 times a month, or twice as often.

First of all these numbers are for the United States only. I thought the www stood for the World Wide Web, not just the U.S. web. The article also states this:

Of course, when it comes to making money from search, it is the number of searches, not penetration, that matters. But the penetration figures suggest that Yahoo-Microsoft could close the gap with Google if they persuade their existing users to use them a bit more often.

Notice the words ‘of course’? If it is the number of searches and not penetration that counts. What important part, if any, do the penetration numbers mean? If you know please share your knowledge with us.

Comments welcome.

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