Search Engine Loyalty Drives Industry

    April 16, 2004

The results of iProspect’s Search Engine User Attitudes Survey, which focuses on search engine loyalty, have been released. These results paint a clear picture on search engine usage, popularity, and how users are loyal to their engine of choice.

68% of Google users claim that they only use one search engine to perform their queries. 55% of Yahoo users only use Yahoo to search, while MSN and AOL, which are powered by Yahoo and Google, claim a 54 and 48.6% loyalty claim, respectively.

According to MediaDailyNews, 57% of search engine users are partial to one particular search. Search engine preference appears to be driven by the relevancy of the results each engine produces. Bill Muller, vice president at iProspect, said, “the relevance of natural search is driving a lot of that loyalty. The ones that are relying most heavily on pure algorithmic results–those are the market leaders.”

Another huge search tool that inspires loyalty are downloadable search engine toolbars. Almost all major and mid-major search engines offer one. Of the people surveyed by iProspect 22% have a Yahoo toolbar, while 20% have a Google toolbar. MSN has a 17% share of the search utility market. Overall, 49.3% of those surveyed have a search toolbar installed.

The study revealed other interesting facts about Internet search. For instance, 91% of search users modify the parameters of their query if they haven’t found a relevant hit by the 3rd page of results.

The most telling statistic of iProspect’s survey is that 98.8% of web users employ search engines. What other industry can claim a 99% percent user rate?

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