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Mr. Softie Continues To Shed Search Share

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Out of the top 10 most-searched search engines ranked by Nielsen//NetRatings, only one had negative growth in December. Can you guess which one? Here’s a hint: it starts with M, ends in N, has an S in the middle, and is down in search market share almost another 10 percent.

(Giving myself props on the title — nice and alliterative, like air seeping out of tires.)

The good news for MSN (oh, I didn’t spoil it by telling you too fast did I?) is that they’re still in third place – for now. AOL Search, powered by Google, is closing in on MSN’s 8.4 percent share, racking up 6.1 percent overall, an increase of nearly 8 percent.

As for the rest that don’t really matter much, they are, in order from fifth place to tenth: My Way, Ask, Earthlink, Dogpile, Comcast, and NexTag, which is a comparison shopping engine boosted by the holiday season.

Now for the ones that count. Google’s share of US searches jumped another 22.6 percent year-over-year to capture almost 51 percent of the market. That equals over three billion searches conducted at Google. In December.

It might be said that Yahoo! is holding steady, but that’s inaccurate. According to Nielsen, Yahoo posted impressive gains in December, growing 30 percent over last year, grabbing 23.6 percent of US queries. Without Google in the field, that would be extra impressive.

Unfortunately for them, Google exists and is really obnoxious about it.

Nielsen//NetRatings’ Top 10 Search Providers for December 2006

Google – 3.035 billion searches — +22.6% — 50.8% share

Yahoo – 1.412 billion searches — +30.1% — 23.6% share

MSN – 499.9 million searches — -9.7% — 8.4% share

AOL – 362 million searches — +7.8% — 6.1% share

My Way – 141.5 million searches — +4.7% — 2.4% share

Ask.com – 128.45 million searches — +17.2% — 2.1% share

EarthLink – 31.9 million searches — +17.6% — 0.5% share

Dogpile – 30.48 million searches — +2.1% — 0.5% share

Comcast – 26.9 million searches – N/A – 0.5% share

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Mr. Softie Continues To Shed Search Share
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