Search Engine Usage Comparisons for 2006

Here’s Compete’s relative ranking of the top search engines for December 2006:

searchmarketshare dec Search Engine Usage Comparisons for 2006

And here’s comScore’s December 2006 US market share data (6.7 billion total searches):

comscore december 2006 Search Engine Usage Comparisons for 2006

The two sites disagree on Yahoo! and AOL directionally. For Yahoo! comScore shows a gain; Compete shows a loss of share. Regarding AOL, Compete shows a bit of a recovery while comScore shows further erosion.

To throw in a bit of local search perspective: the local products of the majors are capturing about 1% of the traffic of general search. comScore says local search is 13% of all search but it’s a much bigger number when you consider (per WebVisible-Nielsen research) that as much as 51% of local search queries don’t carry a geographic modifier.

Related: Danny Sullivan’s extensive discussion of Microsoft’s challenge to build share in search. And a long, traffic trend analysis.


Greg Sterling is the founding principal of Sterling Market Intelligence, a consulting and research firm focused on online consumer and advertiser behavior and the relationship between the Internet and traditional media, with an emphasis on the local marketplace.

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6 thoughts on “Search Engine Usage Comparisons for 2006

  1. Only a guess about the ASK traffic drop. ASK was pushing their search hard on U.S. television up to December as I think back.
    Might suggest the ads worked to bump traffic but the site failed to hold the new users?

  2. Good point Mike, perhaps non-association with as a shopping engine (as opposed to a resource), vacations and IAC usage had something to do with the drop, unless the stats are inaccurate or off a bit.

  3. I have adjusted my paid search spend using this data. Do you think it would be wise to put 99% of my paid search budget into the GGL basket?