Microsoft's Live Search revamp apparently cannot come soon enough. Hitwise data shows that the most commonly searched term on Live Search over the last four weeks has been "Google," accounting for one percent of all queries. Number two? "Yahoo."
Granted, many people who go to Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) and Google (NSDQ: GOOG) to search are hoping to go elsewhere too. Or maybe they are flat-out confused. "Google" is the 10th-most searched term on Google itself (!)
More after the jump, including the top five search queries for Yahoo, Google and Microsoft.
Yet the percentage of searchers who obviously want to get away is greatest on Live Search. "Yahoo," "Google," "Google.com" and "Yahoo.com" searches together account for about 2.7 percent of all queries on Live Search, while "Yahoo," "Yahoo.com" and "Google" queries make up only 0.4 percent of all searches on Google. Similar queries account for about 1.4 percent of searches on Yahoo.
That appears to back up Microsoft's admission that it has not done a good enough job of convincing users why they should try its search engine. It also indicates that Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) cannot simply buy market share by landing big distribution deals for Live Search. Yes, they will be more likely to land on the Live Search page, but they might just as likely to navigate away to the competition. A Microsoft spokeswoman said the company had no comment.
A Live Search overhaul is expected later this spring. The latest date being tossed around for the release is June 2, according to Liveside.net, when Microsoft's Online Services President Qi Lu is set to deliver the keynote address at the SMX Advanced search conference in Seattle.
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By Joseph Tartakoff