May 26, 2006, 12:00 AM

Google gobbles up half the search engine pie

Searches on Google accounted for 50% of all Internet searches in April; Yahoo received 22% and MSN received 11%, according to Nielsen/NetRatings.


Searches on Google accounted for 50% of all Internet searches in April, says the latest measure of the search market from Nielsen/NetRatings Inc.

After Google, Yahoo received 22% of all April searches and MSN received 11%, Nielsen/NetRatings reports. Year over year, the market research firm found, Google gained 3% in search engine market share; Yahoo was flat and MSN dropped slightly.

Moving forward, the industry should expect new features, improved functionality and rewards programs from the top search engine providers as they compete for consumers’ loyalty, says Michael Lanz, vice president of search industry solutions at Nielsen/NetRatings. “There also is opportunity for smaller search engines to fulfill targeted search needs,” he adds.

The study also found that consumers increasingly are using search engines to connect with bricks-and-mortar stores, which shows the influence online searches can have on online and offline buying, the study notes. With this in mind, the top five search terms overall in April were: “home depot,” “walmart,” “target,” “sears” and “best buy.”

“Such companies each have built a strong web presence designed to encourage consumers to buy immediately online or give them the tools they need to do preliminary research before making an in-store purchase,” Lanz. says.


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