According to a recent study from Nielsen//Netratings, Yahoo & Ask.com are growing faster than Google in terms of search engine usage.
While Google still undoubtedly holds the number one spot for the amount of searches at over 3 billion searches in the past year, or 49.6% of the search engine market share; Yahoo search usage grew more rapidly.
Yahoo search usage grew at the rate of 30% last year, while Google grew at 23%. In terms of search usage growth, Ask.com showed a 25% growth index over the past twelve months.
* Yahoo! Search 30%
* Ask.com Search 25%
* Google Search 23%
* AOL Search 1.9%
* MSN/Windows Live Search -8%
So, why would Yahoo search be growing faster than Google?
There could be a number of reasons stemming from more and more Google products not being centered specifically around search to the integration of search throughout the Yahoo network (think Yahoo News or Sports), which attracts more traffic and pageviews than Google.
The success of Yahoo Answers in 2006 could also be a major factor, as the question & answer service has attracted more users to Yahoo’s social media structure.
Yahoo search also played a role in MySpace pre-August Google partnership. Did the early mad MySpace growth numbers effect Yahoo’s 2006 growth?
Will Yahoo ever catch Google in terms of searches? Given that Google search usage is more than double of that than Yahoo, not in the near future.
But, if Yahoo continues to re-searchify its network, build on its social media offerings, and successfully monetize search via its new Yahoo Search Marketing platform.