Google Steady With 72 Percent of U.S. Searches in December 2008

Search leader up 14 percent year over year and 8 percent in 2008, MSN Search increases for fifth month, Yahoo! Search up in December 2008

New York, N.Y., Jan. 12, 2009 —Hitwise®, an Experian company, announced today that Google accounted for 72.07 percent of all U.S. searches conducted in the four weeks ending Dec. 27, 2008. Yahoo! Search, MSN Search and Ask.com received 17.79 percent, 5.56 percent and 3.15 percent, respectively. The remaining 44 search engines in the Hitwise Search Engine Analysis Tool accounted for 1.42 percent of U.S. searches. 

Both MSN Search and Yahoo! Search saw increases of 2 percent and 1 percent, respectively, in December 2008 compared with November 2008. MSN Search has increased five months in a row now. For 2008 overall, Google accounted for 69.48 percent of all U.S searches, representing an 8 percent increase over 2007. Ask.com increased 1 percent in 2008 compared with 2007.

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

Domain

December 2007

November 2008

December 2008

2008 overall

www.google.com

65.98%

71.97%

72.07%

69.48%

search.yahoo.com

20.88%

17.70%

17.79%

19.16%

search.msn.com

7.04%*

5.45%*

5.56%*

5.88%

www.ask.com

4.14%

3.35%

3.15%

3.80%

Note: Data is based on four-week rolling periods (ending Dec. 27, 2008; Nov. 29, 2008; and Dec. 29, 2007) 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

Google 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 December 2008 with December 2007, Business and Finance, Sports, Online Video and Social Networking 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 — December 2008

Category

Percentage of category traffic from search engines — December 2008

Percent change in share of traffic from search engines — December 2007– December 2008

Percentage of category traffic from Google — December 2008

Percent change in share of traffic from Google — December 2007– December 2008

Health and Medical

44.45%

1%

31.91%

11%

Travel

36.24%

9%

27.09%

21%

Shopping and Classifieds

25.81%

-2%

18.36%

9%

News and Media

20.54%

-3%

15.46%

11%

Entertainment

24.83%

7%

17.26%

21%

Business and Finance

19.19%

13%

13.47%

28%

Sports

13.33%

16%

9.56%

29%

Online Video**

33.69%

23%

24.70%

42%

Social Networking**

17.87%

18%

11.89%

38%

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

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