Search Use Continues To Grow

Web users conducted more than 5.1 billion search queries in October--marking a 15 percent increase from June, according to a Nielsen//NetRatings report released Tuesday.

Google maintained its leadership position, garnering 2.4 billion search requests, or almost half--48 percent--of all searches. Yahoo! accounted for 21.8 percent of all searches, followed by Microsoft's MSN, which was responsible for 11.3 percent of search activity.

Time Warner's AOL was in fourth place, with 358,667 searches, or 7.2 percent of search activity. Currently, Google powers AOL's search engine and receives revenue from the company. But, with Time Warner considering a range of options for AOL--ranging from spinning off the company to doing some sort of joint venture with either Google or Microsoft--that deal might not continue for long.

If Microsoft starts powering AOL's search engine, and AOL continues to account for the same proportion of search activity as at present, MSN would have nearly the same traffic as Yahoo!, the current second-place holder.

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Nielsen//NetRatings also reported that search activity on InterActiveCorp's Ask Jeeves almost doubled--growing from 75.81 million searches in June to 133.93 million searches in October--still, the engine accounted for just 2.6 percent of all searches.

Additionally, consumers searched for images 328.28 million times in October--a 36.6 percent jump from June, reported Nielsen. Local searches grew by 19.2 percent in that time.

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