Yahoo local (local.yahoo.com) drew 4.4 times the number of visitors as Google Local (local.google.com) in July 2005, according to a new report from Hitwise.
Despite Yahoo Local’s visitor dominance, Google local saw its market share increase by 61 percent between February and July of 2005. During the same period, Yahoo Local grew by only 14 percent.
Growth in the local search category continues as both Yahoo and Google’s respective map sites develop. In July, Hitwise reported 17 percent of Yahoo Local users accessed maps directly through Yahoo Maps. Google Maps now holds the number three spot in the Hitwise Travel Maps category.
Overall, Google continues to dominate all the major search engines with a 59.2 percent share of all searches in July 2005. That’s a 14 percent increase over July 2004. Yahoo Search came in second at 28.8 percent, and MSN Search placed third with a 5.5 percent share. Google, Yahoo Search, and MSN Search represented a combined 93.5 percent of all U.S. Internet searches in July 2005.
Both Yahoo Search and MSN Search derive the majority of their visits from associated portals. Seventy-three percent of Yahoo Search visitors originate at yahoo.com and my.yahoo.com, while 61 percent of MSN Search visitors get there through msn.com, my.msn.com, and dellnet.msn.com.
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Hitwise commented that Google’s growth is notable particularly since it doesn’t have portals pushing traffic to it like Yahoo and MSN do. “Clearly the next big challenge for Google will be the arrival of Microsoft’s new operating system, Vista, which is said to have far tighter search integration.” said Bill Tancer, Hitwise’s general manager of worldwide research, in a statement.