Google Shows Healthy January Growth In U.S. Search Volume

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Google saw healthy growth in the number of search queries on its core U.S. search engine in January, according to comScore qSearch numbers that came out last night. Google’s query growth rate was 38.4 percent, compared to January, 2008, outpacing the industry’s overall 28.6 percent growth in search queries. Any way you slice it, people are still doing more and more searches, which suggests that the search market is far from saturated.

Compared to December, Google’s query growth rate slowed down slightly (from 42.8%). Yahoo, on the other hand, is the one standout among the major search engines in that its annual growth in search queries accelerated from 17.2 percent in December to 21.6 percent in January.  All the other search engines saw a slowdown. (See first table below).

This resulted in Yahoo gaining half a percentage point in overall query market share to 21.0 percent, while Google’s market share dropped by the exact same amount month-over-month to 63.0 percent. Compared to a year ago, however, Google’s market share is still up 4.5 percentage points. (See second table below).

Beyond the core search engines, YouTube generated an estimated 2.92 billion searches in January, up 68 percent from the year before, and slightly up 2.4 percent from December.  YouTube represents 24.9 percent of Google’s total searches, and on its own is a s big as Yahoo.

Y/Y Growth In Core U.S. Search Queries, January 2009 (Source: comScore qSearch)

Google 38.4%
Yahoo 21.6%
Microsoft 11.3%
Ask 4.6%
AOL 1.1%

U.S. Core Search Share, January 2009 (Source: comScore qSearch)

Google 63.0% -0.5% m/m +4.5% y.y
Yahoo 21.0% +0.5% m/m -1.2% y/y
Microsoft 8.5% +0.2% m/m -1.3% y/y
AOL 3.9% -0.1% m/m -1.0& y/y
Ask 3.7% -0.2% m/m -0.8% y/y

Click on the image below for a larger table showing stats going back a full year (courtesy of Douglas Anmuth at Barclays Capital).

search-share-table-jan-08

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