The ‘Search Landscape’ session at the Search Engine Strategies conference in London brought to light some interesting statistics about search engine usage in the UK, Europe and rest of the world. Speakers at the session included Heather Hopkins, VP of research at Hitwise; Alex Burmaster, European Internet analyst at Nielsen//NetRatings; Richard Zwicky, CEO of Enquisite; and Bill Hunt, CEO of Global Strategies International.
Current Search Engine Usage
As the search market grows, Google remains the unquestionable market leader everywhere in the world. It’s lead in Europe and the UK is much more significant than in the USA, whereYahoo! and MSN still have a double-digit percentage market share.
- 81% of Internet users worldwide, that is 256 million people, visited a search engine in December 2006
- Over the last 6 months, Google has a 71.6% share of the global search engine market and Yahoo! has only 5.5%
- In the UK Google’s share is 80.2% and Yahoo! , an 80.2% share of the UK search engine market, and a 78.4% share of the French search engine market.
- In France too Google hogs the spotlight with 78.4% market share while Yahoo! gets only 3.8%
- Search engine reach in the UK is the highest, with search engines reaching 85% of users, ahead of France (83% reach), Spain (83% reach) and the U.S. (77% reach)
- In the UK, search engines also receive the most traffic, even more than adult websites.
Growth Of Search
The astronomical growth rate of search engine usage is only surpassed by the growth rate of Google itself, which almost means that the other search engines seem to be pulling the industry down. Europe seems to be leading this growth.
- Total number of search users has grown by 10% over the last year, while Google’s user base has grown almost 2.5 times as fast
- Search engine user number have grown most dramatically in France (27%) and Spain (21%), ahead of the US (8%)
- In the UK, the highest growth came from Yahoo! (12%) followed by Google (6%) while MSN Live Search and Ask went through reductions of 15% and 30% respectively, year on year.
As the search engine industry matures, so do the users. The average number of keywords per query has steadily increased year upon year, the number of searches per sessions has increased and the frequency of search has risen.
- On average searchers spent 27 minutes on search engines each month and viewed 93 search pages, accounting for 3.4% of total time spent online
- The heaviest search users come from France and Spain
- U.S. searchers are the lightest users
- Over 60% of search engine visitors use at least two different search engines
- Many users use a search engine as their point of entry to the Internet
- Searcher behaviour varies on different search engines
A survey of European advertisers and agencies conducted by Jupiter Research in France, Italy and Spain during January 2007 found a continuing upward trend in search engine marketingactivity and budgets.
- 62% of advertisers surveyed said they plan to increase search marketing spend over the next 12 months
- Advertisers and agencies are generally satisfied with the ROI from search marketing
- The main objective for most search marketers is to generate online sales and build brand awareness
- The main problem advertisers face was found to be increasing competition
- SEO is more important than paid search for advertisers in France, Spain and Italy
- Mobile search, video search and pay per call are areas where advertisers plan to spend more in 2007
- The main reasons advertisers hire agencies is to improve results and due to a lack of knowledge/expertise in-house.