Google Hovering at 72 Percent of U.S. Searches in March 2009

Ask sees 8 percent increase from February 2009; Length of eight-plus keyword searches increases 20 percent

New York, N.Y., April 8, 2009 — Hitwise®, an Experian company, announced today that Google accounted for 72.39 percent of all U.S. searches conducted in the four weeks ending March 28, 2009. Yahoo! Search, MSN Search and Ask.com received 16.36 percent, 5.50 percent and 4.07 percent, respectively. The remaining 43 search engines in the Hitwise Search Engine Analysis Tool accounted for 1.68 percent of U.S. searches.

Percentage of U.S. searches among leading search engine providers

Domain

March 2008

February 2009

March 2009

Year-over-year percent change

www.google.com

67.28%

72.11%

72.39%

8%

search.yahoo.com

20.30%

17.04%

16.36%

-19%

search.msn.com

6.65%*

5.56%*

5.50%*

-17%

www.ask.com

4.10%

3.74%

4.07%

-1%

Note: Data is based on four-week rolling periods (ending March 28, 2009; Feb. 28, 2009; and March 29, 2008) from the Hitwise sample of 10 million U.S. Internet users.

*Includes executed searches on Live.com and MSN Search but does not include searches on Club.Live.com

Source: Hitwise, an Experian company

Longer search queries become more popular


Percentage of U.S. clicks by number of keywords

Subject

March 2008

February 2009

March 2009

Year-over-year percent change

One word

20.98%

20.48%

20.48%

-2%

Two words

24.62%

23.47%

23.17%

-6%

Three words

21.78%

21.68%

21.72%

0%

Four words

14.49%

14.98%

14.97%

3%

Five words

8.33%

8.72%

8.76%

5%

Six words

4.46%

4.71%

4.73%

6%

Seven words

2.33%

2.51%

2.58%

11%

Eight or more words

3.01%

3.47%

3.60%

20%

Note: Data is based on four-week rolling periods (ending March 28, 2009; Feb. 28, 2009; and March 29, 2008) from the Hitwise sample of 10 million U.S. Internet users.

Source: Hitwise, an Experian company

The length of search queries has increased over the past year. Longer search queries, averaging searches of five to more than eight words in length, have increased 8 percent between March 2008 and March 2009. Searches of eight or more words increased 20 percent. The same time period showed that shorter search queries — those averaging one to four words long — have decreased 2 percent. Searches of two words comprised the majority of searches, amounting to 23.17 percent of all queries.

Google is a greater source of traffic to key U.S. industries
Search engines continue to be the primary way Internet users navigate to key industry categories. Comparing March 2009 with March 2008, Business and Finance, Sports and Online Video categories showed double-digit increases in their share of traffic coming directly from search engines.

U.S. category upstream traffic from search engines and Google — March 2009

Category

Percentage of category traffic from search engines — March 2009

Percent change in share of traffic from search engines — March 2008–March 2009

Percentage of category traffic from Google — March 2009

Percent change in share of traffic from Google — March 2008– March 2009

Health and Medical

46.30%

3%

33.76%

13%

Travel

36.35%

9%

27.43%

20%

Shopping and Classifieds

24.48%

-3%

17.51%

6%

News and Media

21.61%

0%

15.71%

11%

Entertainment

27.08%

13%

19.12%

25%

Business and Finance

20.94%

15%

14.97%

29%

Sports

15.59%

21%

11.37%

32%

Online Video**

36.24%

23%

27.25%

36%

Social Networking**

17.34%

5%

11.40%

17%

All figures are based on U.S. data from the Hitwise sample of 10 million Internet users.
**Denotes a custom category

Source: Hitwise, an Experian company

About Hitwise
Hitwise, an Experian company, is the leading online competitive intelligence service. Only Hitwise provides its 1,500 clients around the world with daily insights on how their customers interact with a broad range of competitive Web sites and how their competitors use different tactics to attract online customers.

Since 1997, Hitwise has pioneered a unique, network-based approach to Internet measurement. Through relationships with ISPs around the world, Hitwise’s patented methodology anonymously captures the online usage, search and conversion behavior of 25 million Internet users. This unprecedented volume of Internet usage data is seamlessly integrated into an easy-to-use, Web-based service, designed to help marketers better plan, implement and report on a range of online marketing programs.

Hitwise, an Experian company (FTS:EXPN), www.experianplc.com, operates in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore. More information about Hitwise is available at www.hitwise.com.

For up-to-date analysis of online trends, please visit the Hitwise Intelligence — Analyst Weblogs at http://weblogs.hitwise.com and the Hitwise Data Center at www.hitwise.com/datacenter.

Contact:
Matt Tatham
Hitwise, an Experian company
1 212 380 2939 Telephone

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