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

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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