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Searches Grow 55% & Google Gains 5.7% in Search Share

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Late last month, Danny reported that the search share remained the "status quo." The stats from Nielsen//NetRatings shows that search growth overall has increased 55 percent from December 2004 to December 2005. And with that growth, Google gained in market share 5.7 points, whereas MSN dropped 3.1 points. However, Danny says "there's a danger in picking any two months and comparing" and even doesn't like to compare "same months from year to year."

Digging deeper into these figures, in December 2004, there was approximately 3.3 billion searches performed on search engines. In December 2005, we had nearly 5.1 billion searches, accounting for a 55 percent increase.

An other interesting note from the study was that although search volume grew 55 percent, Internet users did not grow at the same rate. Nielsen//NetRatings reports a rise of about three percent in the number of Internet users.

Google had 43.1 percent of search share in December 2004, which grew to 48.8 percent in December 2005, a 5.7 point increase.

Yahoo Search dropped 0.3 points from a 21.7 percent share in December 2004 to 21.4 percent December 2005. MSN Search lost 3.1 points from 14.0 percent share in to 10.9 for the same months.

If you review the average search share from Danny's previous entry, you can still see an increase in Google's share and a decrease for Yahoo and MSN. Danny reported Google at 46.7 percent, Yahoo at 22.0 percent, and MSN at 12.4 percent as the average monthly share for the period of January 2005 through November 2005.

The press release hasn't yet gone live on the NetRatings site but should here shortly. Here's what we received:

ONLINE SEARCHES GROW 55 PERCENT YEAR-OVER-YEAR TO NEARLY 5.1 BILLION SEARCHES IN DECEMBER 2005, ACCORDING TO NIELSEN//NETRATINGS

Google Sees Five-Point Gain in Search Share Rankings

NEW YORK- February 9, 2006 - Nielsen//NetRatings, a global leader in Internet media and market research, today reported that the total number of searches in the U.S. conducted across approximately 60 search engines grew 55 percent year-over-year to nearly 5.1 billion searches in December 2005 (see Table 1). There were 3.3 billion searches conducted via search engines in December 2004.

While the number of searches conducted online swelled, the number of people connecting to the Internet rose a mere three percent to 207 million people in the U.S.

?The double-digit increase in online search activity marks a significant milestone

in the evolution of Internet consumer behavior,? said Ken Cassar, senior director

of analytics, Nielsen//NetRatings. ?Online search is the primary tool most people rely on to do everyday research.?

Table 1. Growth in Total Searches, Dec 2004 vs. 2005 (U.S.) Please view in a fixed-width font such as Courier.

+------------------------+------------------------+-----------------+
| Dec-04 Searches (000) | Dec-05 Searches (000) | Percent Change |
+------------------------+------------------------+-----------------+
| 3,279,770 | 5,069,377 | 55% |
+------------------------+------------------------+-----------------+

Source: Nielsen//NetRatings MegaView Search, February 2006

Google rose nearly six percentage points to garner a 49 percent share of all searches in December 2005 from a year prior (see Table 2). Yahoo! Search and MSN Search experienced slight declines in their search share points.

Table 2. Top 3 Percentage Point Changes in Search Share Rankings (U.S.) Please view in a fixed-width font such as Courier.

+---------------+-----------------+-----------------+--------------------+
| Search Engine | Dec-04 Search | Dec-05 Search | Change in |
|               | Share | Share | Percentage Points |
+---------------+-----------------+-----------------+--------------------+
| Google Search | 43.1% | 48.8% | 5.7 |
| Yahoo! Search | 21.7% | 21.4% | -0.3 |
| MSN Search    | 14.0% | 10.9% | -3.1 |
+---------------+-----------------+-----------------+--------------------+

Source: Nielsen//NetRatings MegaView Search, February 2006

The top three search engines all experienced double-digit growth year-over-year in December 2005. Google Search grew 75 percent to nearly 2.5 billion searches; Yahoo! Search rose 53 percent to nearly 1.1 billion searches, and MSN Search increased 20 percent to 553 million searches (see Table 3).

Table 3. Top 3 Search Engines' Growth in Searches (U.S.) Please view in a fixed-width font such as Courier.

+----------------+---------------------+------------------+-------------+
| Search Engine | Dec-04 Searches | Dec-05 Search | Growth (%) |
|                                         | (000) | (000) | |
+----------------+---------------------+------------------+-------------+
| Google Search | 1,414,778 | 2,475,895 | 75% |
| Yahoo! Search | 711,857 | 1,085,918 | 53% |
| MSN Search | 460,377 | 553,476 | 20% |
+----------------+---------------------+------------------+-------------+

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