Google First In U.S. Search, But Lags In China - InformationWeek

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Google First In U.S. Search, But Lags In China

Here at home, Google accounted for around 49% of all Web searches in May, compared to 23% for Yahoo and 11% for MSN, Nielsen/NetRatings said.

Google Inc. is king of search in the United States, but in the rapidly growing Chinese Internet market it's a distant third.

The Mountain View, Calif., company in May accounted for more than 49.1 percent of all Web searches, compared to 22.9 percent for second-place Yahoo Inc. and 10.6 percent for third-place MSN, which is owned by Microsoft Corp., Nielsen/NetRatings said.

In terms of numbers, the number of searches on Google grew by 32 percent year over year to 2.8 million. Searches on Yahoo increased 34 percent to 1.3 million, and 42 percent on MSN to nearly 601,000.

In China, however, the landscape was quite different. In the first quarter, China's homegrown Baidu led the market with a 43.9 percent share, seconded by Yahoo with 21.1 percent, according to Chinese consulting firm Analysys International. Google was third with 13.2 percent

While advertisers dealing in international trade favor Google, online marketers trying to reach consumers in major Chinese areas, such as Guangdong, Jiangsu, Beijing, Shanghai and Zhejiang, find Baidu more effective, Analysys International said.

To improve its standing, Google needs to focus on building marketing channels and developing a user experience more conducive to the Chinese, Analysys said.

"Localization does not simply mean language localization," the firm said in a statement.

Local e-commerce company Alibab.com Corp. runs Yahoo's Chinese operations.

IT and search engine expert Steve Arnold, who recently returned from a six-city lecture tour in China, said in an interview with TechWeb that the Chinese business community has a strong interest in U.S. search engines. But those companies face lots of barriers operating in China, with many of those hurdles set up the communist government, he said.

Nevertheless, the stakes are high for U.S. Internet companies. China is currently the second largest Internet market in the world, and is expected to eventually surpass first-place United States.

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