Who is the biggest search engine in the market? That’s the one thing everyone agrees on: Google. But beyond that, there are some significant differences in the data. For instance, Nielson says that Google accounts for 54% of US searches, whereas Hitwise says they account for 64%. That’s a big difference, although part of it might be explained byNielson separating out Google-based AOL’s marketshare at almost 6%.
Hitwise also gives a 3-point edge to Yahoo.
The really big difference, however, is with MSN. According to Hitwise, it has fallen by a third since last year to just under 8% of the market. However, Nielson gives MSN a 13% market share. In either case, the questions raised in 2006 of whether a rising Ask would surpass a falling MSN in 2007 seem to be laid to rest, as MSN commands over double the marketshare of Ask in both ratings.
What does this mean for you and your SEO plans? Google is still where the big traffic lies. Yahoo no longer commands close to a third of the marketshare – more like one fifth. Don’t ignore MSN.Written by David Leonhardt
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