The battle between Yahoo! and Google for search domination is generally contested in the lucrative US market. Both companies hold significant market share across the US and have been seeking foreign shores to increase their search reach. The playing field of greatest promise for the two search heavyweights is China.
According to a recent research report of Searching Engine Market in China, issued by the CCW Research and reported by ChinaDaily, Yahoo! has just overtaken Google in Chinese search market share.
Google has very publicly expressed its interest in the Chinese search market after buying into China’s no.1 search engine Baidu.com and then selling its interest to focus on its core Google search engine.
While Google has been in the Chinese headlines for all the right and wrong reasons, it appears Yahoo! has secured its share of the market more discretely. Without much hoopla, Yahoo! has not only successfully entered the Chinese search consciousness, but overtaken Google to secure the second spot to trail Baidu.com.
The increased market share is a great success for Yahoo!, but it’s important to recognize that Yahoo! and Google still trail Baidu by a significant margin. The Chinese are still embracing their own, with Baidu holding about 44% of the search market alone.
Don’t expect the US based search engines to resign themselves to minor placings in China. Google is already looking to set up a research center in Shanghai next year, and Yahoo!’s stake in the rapidly growing Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba.com should give it the network and inside knowledge to further increase its stake in China.