In the search market, Google has a commanding share of the volume, but a new study suggests that Microsoft actually monetizes a far higher percentage of its search ads.
Search-marketing firm Chitika culled through the clickthrough rates of more than 50,000 sites in its network in July and found that people using Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT) Bing search engine are 55 percent more likely to click on an ad than Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) searchers.
Also topping Google in clickthrough rate was Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO), a distant second behind the search giant in overall market share, according to the study, which Chitika released via the blog TechCrunch.
The numbers are still microscopic. Chitika found that 1.5 percent of searches on Bing resulted in a click on a sponsored link. Yahoo searches netted a clickthrough rate of 1.24 percent, compared to 0.97 percent on Google.
It's also important to keep scale in mind. By the most recent numbers from online metrics firm comScore, Google performed 65 percent of the searches by U.S. users. Yahoo's share was 19.6, and Microsoft checked in at just 8.4 percent, though that figure marked a slight uptick for the software giant since relaunching its search engine under the Bing brand.
That gap in market share was even more dramatic in the new study, which looked at the more than 50,000 sites in Chitika's network. Of those, Google searches accounted for 83 percent of total ad impressions. Microsoft's Bing served up just under 7 percent of the ads.
In real numbers, that meant that Google served up 26.9 million ad impressions on Chitika's network, compared to the 2.2 million impressions through Bing.
Of course, all the data points surrounding the search market could be headed for a shakeup if Yahoo and Microsoft finally sign a deal to join forces, is widely rumored.
The proposed deal would likely see Yahoo farm out its search business to Microsoft in exchange for a share of the annual ad revenue, and possibly a large up-front payment.
For his part, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has repeatedly mentioned his commitment to give Google a run for its money in search, vowing to spend billions of dollars to become competitive, if necessary.
Article courtesy of InternetNews.com.