Nielsen NetRatings Search Engine Ratings

The Nielsen//NetRatings MegaView Search reporting service measures the search behavior of approximately 500,000 people worldwide. These web surfers have real-time meters on their computers which monitor the sites they visit. This metered information is compiled to produce NetRatings results. Below are statistics about searching from NetRatings provided to Search Engine Watch:

Share Of Searches: July 2006

The chart below shows the percentage of online searches done by US home and work web surfers in July 2006 that were performed at a particular search engine. Internal site searches, such as those to find material within a particular web site, are not counted in these totals. The activity at more than 60 search sites makes up the total search volume upon which percentages are based — 5.6 billion searches in this month.


Note that the figures are search-specific but not necessarily web-search specific. They include local searches, image searches, news searches, shopping searches and other type of vertical search activity. Also note that some companies own more than one search site. This means searches at different sites may be combined into one overall figure for the company’s entire network. The notes below provide more information of what’s in each share. Remember, in all cases, only activity by those in the US is measured, even if those in the US go to a site run by a company outside the US, such as Google UK.

  • Google: Shows searches at any Google-branded web site such as or Google Images.
  • Yahoo: Shows searches at any Yahoo-branded web site such as or Yahoo Local. Does NOT include searches at the Yahoo-owned sites of AltaVista, AllTheWeb and Overture.
  • MSN: Shows searches at any MSN-branded web site such as MSN Search. It does not include Windows Live Search data (0.02 percent of search share in July 2006), but it will include that going forward from August 2006.
  • AOL: Shows searches at any AOL-branded web site such as AOL Search. Does NOT include searches at AOL-owned Netscape Search (this is on the chart separately) or probably other AOL-owned sites.
  • Ask: Shows searches at but not other Ask/IAC-owned sites. For example, does NOT show searches at the sites of, iWon and My Search. These are included in the Other category.
  • Other: Shows searches that occur at other search sites not named on the chart. Any site not listed on the chart can be assumed to have a share that is less than the smallest named site (IE, Ask is the lowest named search site with a 2.5% share. Other sites will have shares less than this).

Share Of Searches Trend

The chart below shows how the share of searches has changed over the past few months, for those search sites with a share of 5 percent or higher:


More Resources

Past NetRatings Search Engine Ratings
Available to Search Engine Watch members, this shows popularity fluctuations in NetRatings data for major search engines stretching back to June 1998. Click here to learn more about becoming a member.

Search Topics: Stats
This category of the Search Topics area available to Search Engine Watch members provides a listing of articles stretching back for years relating to search engine statistics. The Stats: Popularity subcategory specifically lists stories about how search engines are ranked. The Stats: NetRatings subcategory provides a rundown on news specifically about NetRatings statistics. Click here to learn more about becoming a member.

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