ComScore: Search Queries Gain in March, Google Leads the Way

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Google continued its dominance of the search category, according to a new analysis of search behavior released yesterday.


In March 2006, Google had 42.7 percent of all searches that were conducted on Web sites, according to comScore Networks monthly qSearch analysis of activity across competitive search engines.


Yahoo remained in second place with 28.0 percent of searches, while MSN ranked third with 13.2 percent. The analysis also found that:


· Americans conducted 6.4 billion searches online in March, up 10 percent from last month and 15 percent from last year. The increase in search queries from the previous month marked the largest gain over the past 12 months.


· Google Sites led the pack with 2.7 billion search queries performed, followed by Yahoo Sites (1.8 billion), MSN-Microsoft (849 million), Time-Warner Network (486 million), and Ask Jeeves/Ask Network (376 million).


· The toolbar search market continues to be dominated by Google and Yahoo, which combined for more than 95 percent of toolbar searches in March. Google led the way with 48.9 percent, while Yahoo captured 46.5 percent.


ComScore Media Metrix also released its monthly analysis of consumer activity at top online properties and categories.


March was a particularly strong month for online classifieds, as the category grew 13 percent over February, according to the analysis. More significant, however, was the year-over-year category gain of 35 percent versus March 2005, confirming the allure of online classifieds for advertisers.


Notably, CraigsList.org continued to be the category leader with 9.5 million visitors, up 12 percent since last month and up 155 percent since March 2005. Additionally, Trader Publishing Company, publisher of Auto Trader Magazines, rose 10 percent over February to 8.3 million visitors, followed by Cars.com (up 28 percent to 4.2 million visitors) and Autotrader.com (up 9 percent to 5.2 million visitors).


As for the comScore's Top 50 Properties in March, Yahoo continued to hold the top ranking with 123.8 million visitors, while the Time Warner Network claimed the number two position for the first time since October by attracting 116.6 million visitors. Wikipedia continued its ascent in March, moving up 10 spots to number 18. CBS Corporation jumped nine spots, drawing more than 25 million visitors. Finally, Orbitz.com, NBC Universal, and USPS.com all entered the Top 50 at numbers 48, 49 and 50, respectively.


March's Ad Focus Ranking saw the Advertising.com ad network retain its number one position for the 23rd consecutive month. AOL re-entered the Top 10 by reaching 50 percent of all Americans online, while AdDynamix.com jumped 16 spots to number 20. DrivePM had a strong debut in the Ad Focus Ranking, entering at number 14, reaching more than 48 million Americans online.


Melissa Campanelli covers postal news, CRM and database marketing for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters


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