Experian Hitwise reveals latest Search Engine and Social Analysis

news release


Experian Hitwise reveals latest UK Search Engine and Social Analysis

2.18 billion visits to online retailers in December 2011

YouTube accounts for one in four visits to social networks

London, 11 January 2012 Search market leaders Google triumphed in the December 2011 rankings of Experian Hitwise’s latest Search Engine and Social Analysis, significantly increasing its market share of online searches. In social, YouTube also had a bumper month, accounting for over a quarter of all visits to social networks in December 2011.

Google Sites accounted for 91.75 per cent of all searches conducted in the UK in December 2011, up by 0.67 per cent since November 2011. By comparison, competitors lost market share of searches this month, with Microsoft and Yahoo! Sites both falling by more than a quarter of a per cent. Year-on-year Google, Microsoft and Ask Sites were up in terms of total search market share, but Yahoo! Sites were down by 0.88 per cent.

James Murray, Market Research Analyst at Experian Hitwise commented: “Google was the standout performer in search and particularly during the hectic Christmas shopping period. We saw record levels of Internet traffic at Christmas with 2.18 billion visits going to online retailers in December, a year-on-year increase of 4.8 per cent. Retailers were relying more on search traffic in 2011, with 43 per cent of all visits coming from a search engine, and for every ten visits to retailers from search, nine were from Google during this critical period. Getting the right blend of traffic from search, social, affiliates and other traffic sources is essential, but with search being so dominant at these key times, it is more important than ever for marketers to optimise paid and organic search campaigns.”

YouTube accounts for one in four visits to social networks

In the Social Networking and Forums category, YouTube had another astonishing month of growth accounting for 25 per cent of all visits to social networks in December. The UK’s most popular video site increased its market share of visits by 1.41 per cent since November 2011, making it the fastest moving website of the month within social. Visits to YouTube rose from 417 million visits in December 2010 to 606 million visits in December 2011– a 45 per cent increase year-on-year. This 45 per cent growth in website visits to YouTube resulted in a seven percentage point increase in You Tube’s market share of visits to the Social Networks and Forums category, increasing from nearly 18 per cent to 25 per cent of all social visits.  

Four of the top 10 social networks in December increased their market share of visits, including Tumblr and Stumble Upon. Social media was the third biggest source of traffic to online retailers over the Christmas season, accounting for eight per cent of all visits to retail websites in December.  

James Murray said: “YouTube experienced the most phenomenal growth in 2011 cementing its place as the third most visited website in the UK after Google and Facebook and the second biggest social network in the UK. In 2012 we’re expecting video to be even more influential as a marketing channel, and marketers will have to adapt their strategies to incorporate a multi-channel approach in order to secure customers both on and offline.”



Alexandra Banks

Digital PR Manager, Experian Marketing Services

+44 (0) 7966102823