Search Volumes Rise as Market Matures

Internet search volume rose 15 percent in the five months between June and October of this year, according to Nielsen//NetRatings. Ask Jeeves emerged as the highest-gaining search engine in the period.

Over 5.1 billion searches were conducted in October. Google, Yahoo, MSN, and America Online held their top four positions, showing incremental growth during the five months.

“Search volume continues to increase and is generated consistently among the ‘Big Three,’ growing their collective market share,” said Ken Cassar, director of strategic analysis for Nielsen//NetRatings.

Ask Jeeves edged out players such as My Way Search to rank fifth in market share. The search engine experienced a 77 percent growth in market share to reach 2.6 percent. Following its recent acquisition by IAC/InterActiveCorp, the company announced plans to shed “Jeeves” and become Ask.com.

“As the search market continues to mature, customers’ relationships with the major search engines have only grown deeper,” said Cassar.

Also of note in the study is the emergence of images as the fastest-growing vertical for search. That category grew 36.6 percent in the five-month span from June to October. Local, Web, news and shopping follow images in terms of both vertical search growth and market share.

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