NetRatings Search Popularity Stats For March 2005 & MSN’s Share

I’ve posted new search engine popularity statistics from NetRatings for March 2005, and you can now view a line chart showing the past three months that underscore how
little has shifted in the search landscape.

It’s always good to remember with these type of figures that trends typically don’t emerge until several months have gone by. Case in point was all the hoopla last month,
when MSN had a small 1.4 share rise from 12.8 percent in January to 14.2 percent in February.

A one month shift is nothing. You want to see a pattern grow over three, four or more months before shouting trend. Nevertheless, there was quite a bit of speculation on
that one month change because of all the ad spending that MSN is now doing.

Shouldn’t the service’s big ad campaign have spiked it even higher? Perhaps. But perhaps the ad campaign did nothing at all, with interest actually spiked because of
general press reports about MSN.

In whatever case, MSN has dipped down to 13.6 percent, with Google seeming to benefit from that loss. Panic time? Ads not working? Best to give it a few more months and
wonder about other factors, before drawing too many heavy conclusions.

Here are some articles about the MSN rise from last month, with ample quotes and observations from MSN on how it plans to continue:

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