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BizReport : Search Marketing : January 21, 2008

How long can Google stay on top?

-- according to the latest search share rankings from Nielsen//Netratings - a long, long time. That is because Google once again leads the search engine pack by more than 20 percentage points. For the month of December, Nielsen researchers found that Google accounted for 56% of online searches.

by Kristina Knight

Just over 6 billion searches were performed during the month of December; 4.1 billion search queries were performed on the Google search engine. Each searcher performed more than 36 searches during the month.

This is an important number because it shows that searchers are actually seeking out Google's engine to learn about products, services or companies or simply to learn the latest headlines or gossip.

By comparison competitor Yahoo, the number 2 search engine was responsible for 17.7% of December Searches (1.27 billion search queries). Each user who logged on to the Yahoo engine returned to complete more searches 22 times. MSN/Windows Live Search, meanwhile, accounted for 13% of searches (9.9 million); with users returning 31 times throughout the month.

Rounding out the top 5 search engines were AOL Search (4% of search queries; 3 million search queries) and (2% of searches; 1.5 million search queries).

As more users continue turning to search to find products or research current events, more marketers are also turning to search engines for paid search campaigns. While it is no surprise that Google continues to lead the other search engines this doesn't mean that the other engines should be ignored. As can be seen from the new "return" total, it is clear that users are returning to their favorite search engine multiple times each month.

If a marketer were to focus only on Google or Yahoo, they would potentially miss searchers on other engines.

Tags: paid search, search engine marketing

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