Hitwise: Google Searchers Male, Yahoo! Skews Young
When looking at the demographics of visitors to four search engines--Google, Yahoo! Search, MSN Search, and Ask Jeeves--Hitwise found that Google users were 53.6 percent male, while Ask Jeeves users were 58.7 percent female, for the four weeks ending July 16. Yahoo! and MSN searchers were predominantly women, who accounted for 50.2 percent of Yahoo! Search users and 53.7 percent of MSN Search users.
For that same time period, MSN Search had the highest proportion of users older than 55, while Ask Jeeves appealed to those between the ages of 18 and 24 and to those between 35 and 54 years old. Google also had the most visitors with household incomes greater than $100,000.
The report also found that searchers at Google, Yahoo!, and MSN tend to enter just one or two words in the query box; an average of 87 percent of searches at those three engines are no more than two words. But a smaller proportion--69 percent--of Ask Jeeves searches are just one or two words. Hitwise attributed this phenomenon to Ask Jeeves' history of framing searches as questions written in complete sentences.
Upon leaving search engines, more users went to shopping and classifieds Web sites than any other category of Internet properties. Ask Jeeves sent the highest proportion of visitors--15.05 percent--to shopping and classifieds sites, followed by Yahoo! Search (11.24 percent), Google (10.68 percent), and MSN Search (10.65 percent).
Where else did they go? Entertainment sites were popular, with Yahoo! sending the largest percentage of visitors--9.81--to such sites, followed by Google (9.58 percent), MSN Search (8.97 percent), and Ask Jeeves (8.55 percent).
Business and finance sites also saw traffic from the search engines, with Ask Jeeves sending the largest proportion of searchers--8.55 percent--to business-related sites, followed by MSN Search (8.10 percent), Yahoo! Search (7.10 percent), and Google (6.54 percent).
A portion of the report released last week revealed that Google's share of searches increased by more than 14 percent since last year. Combined, Google, Yahoo! Search, and MSN Search accounted for 72.8 percent of visits to search engines and directories for the week ending July 23.