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February 10, 2006

Search grows by 75% Google's share tops 48%

Yes once again the totals for the past year are in and again Google has increased its' market share to a now whopping 48.8% according to Nielsen/Net Ratings.

The standings in 2004 were

1.  Google 43.1% of all search traffic

2.  Yahoo 21.7% of all search traffic

3.  MSN 14.0% of all search traffic

The new standings for the year ended 2005 are

1.  Google 48.8% (up 5.7%)

2.  Yahoo 21.4% (down .3%)

3.  MSN 10.9% (down 3.1%)

It seems pretty clear that Google grabbed most of the market share increase from MSN, (my guess is it has a ton to do with the growth of the FireFox browser just watching web logs I have seen 5+% growth of FireFox in 2005).  While many may look at this and see that it is just another indication that Google is winning the war that is a short sighted view.

The real story here is the total growth of the search market.  While MSN may have lost 3% of the market share you can bet they even at the bottom saw tremendous growth last year. 

Looking at it another way the market as a whole grew 70-75% so by loosing 3% MSN had to "suffer" with a growth of only say 65-68%.  Or another way to see it is that MSN at the bottom of the heap only had a "tiny" 590 Million Searches last year.  (that would be about 10% of 5.5 Billion Total Searches)

What does this tell us?  It tell's us that search engine marketing and website optimization is now more important then ever.  A growth curve of 75% makes search and search marketing the most rapidly growing market in existance today. 

It is also important to understand that this growth is really about people using the internet more not just growth of users.  There was only a gain of  3% of total internet users so clearly what we see is existing users moving more of there entertainment, research and shopping online.

Jack Spirko
Seo Specialist
The MasterLink Group

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