RUSSIAN SEARCH ENGINE Yandex surpassed Microsoft on the number of monthly search queries worldwide in November and December 2012, according to a recently released Comscore report.
Microsoft websites processed 4.477 billion queries, while Yandex processed 4.844 billion.
As you'd expect, Google still reigned supreme with 114.73 billion search queries and 65.2 percent market share. Chinese search giant Baidu was second globally with 14.5 billion and 8.2 percent, and Yahoo came in third with 8.63 billion and 4.9 percent.
Microsoft websites include Bing - which processes 92 percent of all queries to Microsoft sites according to Comscore - plus other Microsoft properties recognised as search websites by Comscore including MSN, Windows Live and others.
You'd think that with all of the money, might and power of Microsoft, it would be higher in total search volume. So either Yandex is kicking some serious butt or Bing is slowing down.
Let's take a look at global search trends:
As you can see in the graph with Google purposely removed for context, Yandex began passing Microsoft in November, but the difference was tiny and initially it could have been perceived as a statistical error.
There are only two out of the top five search entities that grew last year: Baidu with 13 percent and Yandex with 27.8 percent, while the total number of search queries worldwide decreased by 4.6 percent since December 2011.
Exploring this deeper reveals a few interesting data points. The audience growth continues to evolve and grow in Russia, however, global growth in Western markets where Microsoft has most of its share has slowed down.
You can speculate all day about what's happening here. Do Russians just search more? Are Russians searching more because they don't like the results? Are they gaining market share in countries like Turkey or the Ukraine?
Regardless of all that, we weren't expecting to see Yandex, which doesn't have nearly the marketing budget of Microsoft, surpass it in global search queries by the end of 2012. There's nothing better than seeing a talented underdog race past one of the big names. µ
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