Nielsen//NetRatings Releases Top Engines (by share) and Top Search Terms for November 2005

Nielsen//NetRatings has just released (PDF) November 2005 search share rankings and top search terms.

Search Share
Google continued in first place with 46% of all queries. Yahoo comes in second place with 23%. Here’s the Top 5:

1. Google Search
46.3% Share
2,365,998,000 Searches

2. Yahoo Search
23.4% Share
1,194,519,000 Searches

3. MSN Search
11.4%
583,304,000 Searches

4. AOL Search
6.9% Share
350,899,000 Searches

5. My Way Search
2.5% Share
129,555,000 Searches

Source: Nielsen//NetRatings MegaView Search, January 2006

“The top five players have held their respective positions for the past six months, Ken Cassar points out that this shows the “benefits of incumbency in the search arena.” He’s correct. It also shows that getting people to first try and then use on a regular basis something new is a major challenge in the search business. Yes, people are creatures of habit when it comes to search.

Top Search Terms
The most popular search term in November was ebay, followed by Google and Yahoo.

Yes, once again we see people going to one engine to find another and/or would rather go to a search tool that enter a direct url (for example to ebay) into the browser. I pointed this out last month when Dogpile released their year-end list and Google and Yahoo were in the Top 5. Of course, it’s worth noting that Dogpile results include results from Google and Yahoo.

Here’s the Top 5

1. “ebay”
13,871,000 requests

2. “google”
13,301,000 requests

3. “yahoo”
7,997,000 requests

4. “mapquest”
7,431,000 requests

5. “yahoo.com”
6,528,000

If you combine requests for Yahoo and Yahoo.com, Yahoo “related” searches come in first with 14,525,000 requests.

“There are two types of online searchers that type a Web site?s URL into a search engine rather than into the browser?s address bar: Those inexperienced enough not to appreciate the difference between the two, and those that are so experienced they have become habituated to using the search engine as their portal to the Internet,” said Ken Cassar, chief analyst, Nielsen//NetRatings. “Whether this behavior is driven by ignorance or savvy, the end result is the same: The search engine is the focal point of the online experience for Internet users across the spectrum.”

Yes, the “habituated” searcher. Yet another example of people being creatures of habit when it comes to search.

This news release (PDF) has some analysis along with tables containing the Top 10 engines by search share and Top Ten Search Terms.

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