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MSN’s search market share dropped from 14 percent to 11 percent

Google and Yahoo increased their market share in the online search arena as Microsoft’s MSN slipped, according to Web research firm Nielsen//NetRatings.

Growth in use of Google and Yahoo is outpacing the overall growth in the search engine market during the past year, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.

The number of searches at Yahoo.com grew 47 percent, and searches at Google.com grew 41 percent between March 2005 and this March, Nielsen//NetRatings said. Overall, online searches grew 36 percent in the past year.

Google’s searches increased from 2.1 billion in March 2005 to 2.9 billion this March, while Yahoo’s searches increased from 907.8 million to 1.3 billion. The third largest search provider, MSN, grew 9 percent, from 592.2 million to 643.8 million, Nielsen//NetRatings said.

Google gained 2 percent of the search market share over the past year, while Yahoo gained 1 percent. Google receives 49 percent of all searches, and Yahoo receives 22 percent, the research firm said. MSN’s share dropped from 14 percent to 11 percent.

New features such as instant search suggestions and video search are boosting customer loyalty at Google and Yahoo, Michael Lanz, vice president for search industry solutions at Nielsen//NetRatings, said in a statement.

By Grant Gross, IDG News Service

April 24, 2006

This is great news to webmasters and SEO’s who tend to optimize for Google and Yahoo. Though not so great for Microsoft who was supposed to take on Google with their latest MSN search engine :-) I never held out much hope for MSN since Google’s search results have always been more than acceptable so why would Google users switch to another search engine? The pathetic 9% increase MSN enjoyed (LOL) compared to an overall average ~4 times higher shows MSN is not making a dent in Google’s success.

What’s really interesting about the above article is the enormous increase in search engine traffic in just one year!

Google’s 2.1 billion in March 2005
Google’s 2.9 billion in March 2006

Yahoo’s 0.908 billion in March 2005
Yahoo’s 1.3 billion in March 2006

MSN 0.592 billion in March 2005
MSN 0.644 billion in March 2006

Overall searches March 2005 3.6 billion search queries
Overall searches March 2006 4.844 billion search queries

an increase of 1.244 billion searches or around 35% in just one year!!

That’s a really good indicator of how much more money can be made online in just one year! So lets get out there and grab more than our fair share.