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Google widens its lead.

Internet Search Usage Takes Huge Leap

Internet search is becoming the dominant research tool in the 21st century, as Americans conducted 5.1 billion searches in December of ’05, an increase of 55% over December, ’04, and an average of 17 queries each for every man, woman, and child in the U.S., according to a survey by Nielsen//NetRatings of the 60 most popular search engines.

“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.”

Google’s share rose nearly six percentage from December of ’04 to capture nearly 50% of all searches, while Yahoo and MSN dropped slightly to 21.4 and 10.9% respectively.

Search Share Rankings (U.S.)
———————————————————————
Search Engine Dec-04 Dec-05 Change in %

———————————————————————
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, and MSN Search increased 20 percent to 553 million searches.

Search Engines’ Growth in Searches (U.S.)
———————————————————————
Search Engine Dec-04 Searches (000) Dec-05 Search (000) Growth (%)
———————————————————————
Google Search 1,414,778 2,475,895 75%
———————————————————————
Yahoo! Search 711,857 1,085,918 53%
———————————————————————
MSN Search 460,377 553,476 20%
———————————————————————
Source: Nielsen//NetRatings MegaView Search, February 2006

A nation (and world, for that matter) forming such an Internet search habit speaks profoundly of a positive future for the leading search companies, especially Google, which appears to be pulling away from the pack despite losing 20% of its stock value recently when the market responded poorly to disappointing fourth quarter earnings.

Yesterday John Paczkowski reported in Good Morning Silicon Valley that Yahoo recently asked Yahoo Mail users what types of incentive programs might persuade them to commit to using Yahoo as their primary search engine. “Yahoo is considering launching a program to reward people who make Yahoo their primary search engine. Yahoo Mail users will be given early access to this program. You will receive a monthly reward if you make Yahoo your primary search engine. This means that most of the searching you do each month must be on Yahoo Search.”

I search all day long – I like the idea of being paid to do it, and these days I don’t see much difference between Google and Yahoo search returns, though clearly the searching public doesn’t see it that way.

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: [email protected], Facebook.com/amhaunted, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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