MSN Gains Search Market Share

NEW YORK Microsoft’s MSN has begun to pick up search market share from industry leader Google, according to an Internet measurement firm.

Nielsen/NetRatings reported that MSN attracted more searchers in February. The New York research firm said MSN’s search market share jumped from 12.8 percent in January to 14.2 percent last month.

That growth came at the expense of Google, which saw its share of the search market drop from 47.1 percent to 45.9 percent, according to Nielsen/NetRatings. Yahoo’s share of searches remained basically flat, going from 21.2 percent to 20.9 percent.

MSN introduced its search engine Feb. 1, backing it up with an estimated $150 million ad campaign designed to get consumers to try MSN Search. MSN ran TV ads during the Super Bowl, Academy Awards and Grammys. It has also heavily promoted the search engine throughout MSN and on dozens of Web sites, including and

While the Nielsen/NetRatings figures show MSN taking searchers from Google, another measurement firm has contradictory findings. ComScore Media Metrix reported MSN’s search market share remained unchanged at 16 percent.