December 2012 becomes biggest ever month for UK search

news release

December 2012 becomes biggest ever month for UK search

2.7 billion visits made to UK search engines a 17 per cent increase YoY
Google drops to 88 per cent market share its lowest in five years

London, 22 January 2013 – UK Internet users made 2.7 billion visits to search engines in December 2012, up by 400 million visits compared to December 2011, according to the latest analysis from Experian using its online competitive intelligence tool, Experian Hitwise. The rise in visits represents a 17 per cent YoY increase in search activity. Google market share dropped below 90 per cent for the second month in a row to 88 per cent, its lowest in five years whilst rival search engines bing, Yahoo! and Ask all increased market share.

Search Engine Table Dec 2012

In total, Google Sites accounted for 88.35 per cent of all searches conducted in the UK in December 2012, up by 0.77 per cent from November 2012.

Microsoft Sites led by bing increased market share of searches this month, up by 0.19 per cent in comparison to November 2012 with an overall market share of 4.99 per cent. Yahoo! Sites also increased market share by 0.08 per cent. The most significant increase of the month was for Ask Sites which jumped 0.52 per cent.

December increases in searches can largely be attributed to a bumper Christmas sales period which saw online retail records being broken with 2.8 billion visits to UK retail sites and 656 million of these occurring week ending 29 December alone, equating to a 30 per cent YoY increase as consumers went online in their droves to buy last minute Christmas gifts and take advantage of early discounting.

James Murray, Digital Insight Manager, Experian Marketing Services commented; “Clearly, Google still maintains a huge competitive edge over the other search engines in the UK market. There are seven times more searches conducted on Google Sites than on all the other search engines combined. However, this is encouraging news for Microsoft as bing once again starts to gain some momentum and traction in the UK search market.”

James Murray added: “bing’s availability across multiple Microsoft devices and becoming the default search engine on sites such as Facebook has also contributed to an increase in market share as the way in which consumers use search engines continues to diversify.”

Ends -

Alexandra Banks
PR Manager, Marketing Services UK&I
Tel: 07966 102 823

About Experian Marketing Services
Experian Marketing Services delivers best-in-breed customer data and insight, digital-marketing technologies and data management services into multiple regions around the globe. By helping marketers more effectively target and engage their best customers with meaningful communications across both traditional and digital media, Experian Marketing Services enables organisations to encourage brand advocacy while creating measurable return on marketing investment.

For more information, visit

About Experian
Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients around the world. The Group helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2012 was US$4.5 billion. Experian employs approximately 17,000 people in 44 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and São Paulo, Brazil.

For more information, visit