Yahoo and Microsoft boom

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Yahoo and Microsoft success

Yahoo and Microsoft are reaping the benefits of contextualising their search results, according to the latest industry research.

Newly published figures from online marketing analysts comScore show that the US market share of Yahoo sites jumped a massive 0.6 per cent to 18.3 per cent in May 2010. At the same time, Microsoft sites enjoyed a 0.3 per cent rise to 12.1 per cent.

This growth appears to have come at the expense of Google. The world's largest search engine saw its US market share drop sharply by 0.7 per cent to 63.7 per cent. Completing the list of top five search engines, Ask and AOL both dropped a tenth of a percentage point to 3.6 per cent and 2.3 per cent respectively.

Contextual search pays dividends

Analysing the data, comScore said: "Both Yahoo sites and Microsoft sites have experienced gains due in part to the continued utilisation of contextual search approaches that tie content and related search results together." Contextual search relates to the practice of presenting search users with answers that can be changed or refined directly from the results pages without having to submit a fresh query. The suggestion that other providers are pulling ahead in contextual search will no doubt alarm Google, which has dominated the US search market for most of the last decade.

In related news, Google has announced that the rollout of its new web indexing system is complete. Google Caffeine apparently delivers 50 per cent fresher search results than the old infrastructure, although the company has stressed that rankings will not be affected.