Researcher: Google Snares 50% of Searches in April

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Half of all searches in April were made through Google, further strengthening the search engine's formidable position, according to market researcher Nielsen//NetRatings.

Yahoo came in second place with 22 percent of searches made through its portal, and MSN saw 11 percent.

"What I think having 50 percent of all searches means for Google is that there is extreme brand loyalty from Google clients and that it is almost impossible to break the Google habit," said Michael Lanz, vice president of search industry solutions at Nielsen//NetRatings, New York.

Google's search share has risen 3 percentage points since April 2005 while Yahoo's has stayed the same and MSN's fell 1 point.

But the top three saw vigorous growth over the year based on total number of searches. Google grew 34 percent, Yahoo 27 percent and MSN 10 percent, all the result of more consumer searches online.

"Google's dominance will encourage innovation from the entire search industry," Mr. Lanz said. "Companies will aim for better search functionalities [and] more incentives programs, and smaller providers will try and fulfill targeted search needs."

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