Google Grabs Half Of Booming Web Search Market - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


Google Grabs Half Of Booming Web Search Market

U.S. Web surfers conducted 5.1 billion searches in the last month of 2005, compared with 3.3 billion during the same period a year ago, Nielsen/NetRatings said.

The number of searches on the Web in December surged by 55 percent, as Google Inc. siphoned market share from Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft MSN and accounted for nearly half of all searches, a research firm said Thursday.

The latest numbers from Nielsen/NetRatings reflected the growing importance of search among U.S. Web surfers, who conducted 5.1 billion searches in the last month of 2005, compared with 3.3 billion the same period a year ago. In the same timeframe, the number of people on the Internet in the U.S. rose only 3 percent to 207 million.

"Consumers seem to increasingly see search as their starting point when they go online," Nielsen/NetRatings analyst Ken Cassar said.

Oddly, people often start with a search engine, even when they could easily go to a site by typing its URL in a Web browser. For example, online marketplace EBay Inc. is among the top search terms, even though people could go straight to the site by typing in

"Whether it's out of laziness or ignorance, consumers' starting point is very much search," Cassar said.

Among the top three search engines, Google was the only one to gain market share, rising 5.7 percent year-to-year to 48.8 percent. No. 2 Yahoo Inc., on the other hand, saw its market share dip by 0.3 percent to 21.4 percent, while Microsoft Corp.'s MSN experienced a 3.1 percent drop to 14 percent.

While Google grabbed market share at the expense of Yahoo, MSN and smaller search engines, its two biggest rivals still did well in increasing the number of searches on their sites, even though the number of people online increased only a bit, Cassar said. Searches on Google jumped 75 percent in the month to 2.5 billion, Yahoo 53 percent to 1.1 billion and MSN 20 percent to 553 million.

In general, the use of search is increasing because search engines are doing a better job at delivering relevant results and at making available content that wasn't on the Web before, such as music and video. Google has been the most aggressive in getting offline content in its index, Cassar said, pointing to the company's initiative to digitize library books, a project that has been challenged in the courts by writers and authors claiming the project violates their copyrights. The lawsuits are pending.

"We're seeing an improvement in relevancy and a dramatic improvement in the amount of content online," Cassar said.

Nielsen/NetRatings's results were based on the number of searches conducted across 60 search engines.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
Download this report to compare how cloud usage and spending patterns have changed in 2020, and how respondents think they'll evolve over the next two years.
10 Ways to Transition Traditional IT Talent to Cloud Talent
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  11/23/2020
What Comes Next for the COVID-19 Computing Consortium
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  11/24/2020
Top 10 Data and Analytics Trends for 2021
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  11/13/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
Why Chatbots Are So Popular Right Now
In this IT Trend Report, you will learn more about why chatbots are gaining traction within businesses, particularly while a pandemic is impacting the world.
White Papers
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll