The U.S. remains the largest search market worldwide, while Google holds on to a commanding position in the global search market, according to a new study from comScore.
"The global search market continues to grow at an extraordinary rate, with both highly developed and emerging markets contributing to the strong growth worldwide," said Jack Flanagan, comScore executive vice president.
"Search is clearly becoming a more ubiquitous behavior among Internet users that drives navigation not only directly from search engines but also within sites and across networks. If you equate the advancement of search with the ability of humans to cultivate information, then the world is rapidly becoming a more knowledgeable ecosystem."
The total global search market had more than 131 billion searches conducted by people 15 or older from home and work locations in December 2009, representing a 46 percent increase in the past year.
Broken down, it represents more than 4 billion searches per day, 175 million per hour, and 29 million per minute. The U.S. is the largest individual search market in the world with 22.7 billion searches, or about 17 percent of searches conducted globally. China landed in the second spot with 13.3 billion searches, followed by Japan with 9.2 billion and the U.K. with 6.2 billion. Among the top ten global search markets, Russia had the biggest gains in 2009, growing 92 percent to 3.3 billion, followed by France (up61% to 5.4 billion) and Brazil (up 53% to 3.8 billion).
Google sites were the top search property worldwide with 87.8 billion searches in December, or 66.8 percent of the global search market. Google sites saw a 58 percent increase in search query volume over the past year. Yahoo sites ranked second globally with 9.4 billion searches (up 13%), followed by Chinese search engine Baidu with 8.5 billion searches (up 7%).
Microsoft sites saw the largest gains among the top five properties, growing 70 percent to 4.1 billion searches, on the strength of its new search engine Bing. Russian search engine Yandex also saw solid gains, growing 91 percent to 1.9 billion searches.