New York (NY) – Google keeps extending the lead in its core business, according to a new report released by Nielsen Netratings. Market shares shift less dramatic than in previous years, but Google is apparently on a path to run the majority of web searches in the not too distant future. In February, the company was used for 48.5% of a total of 5.3 billion searches, Nielsen Netratings said.
Google’s share is more than twice that of its nearest competitor, Yahoo, which came in at 22.5%. Both Google and Yahoo were able to increase their shares by 0.3% over January – partially at the expense of MSN search, which dropped from 11.0% to 10.7% in the same time frame. AOL Search (6.6%) and My Way Search (2.7%) round out Nielsen’s Top 5 search sites.
Total searches have jumped from 3.8 billion to 5.3 billion from February, if compared to February 2005. This growth is due “in large part” to an increased number of searches per person, particularly in the image search and shopping search categories, according to the web analytics firm. In February 2005, the average Web user ran 33.2 searches; by this February, that number had climbed to 43.1 searches, increasing 30 percent year over year. In contrast, the number of unique searchers increased year over year by just six percent.
Google also holds a comfortable lead in image searches. According to Nielsen Netratings, 71.9% of 362.3 million were conducted through Google. However, in terms of market shares, Google lost 4.4% if compared to February of last year. Yahoo was able to bump its image search share from 13.9% to 19.1%, Ask.com climbed from 1.5% to 3.5% and AOL improved 1.0% to 1.4%. MSN’s image search was listed unchanged at 2.3%.
Google grabs 48% market share in online searches