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Search engine usage in the UK, February 2005

Internet monitoring company Hitwise has released some interesting information about UK service engine usage during February 2005.

Hitwise's web traffic data confirmed that Google is the top UK search engine and also splits this usage between the .co.uk domain and the .com version. Following Google's recent introduction of IP redirection which sends UK-based users to the .co.uk version, the latest data shows that this site is now used for 63.7% of all UK web searches, whilst Google.com was used for 7.7% of search traffic - therefore a total share of 71.4%.

This represents a massive domination of the market, with Google's nearest competitors showing a much lower market share. Yahoo has an 8.4% share of search traffic with 5.5% coming from the UK site and 2.9% from the .com version. Figures for the new MSN Search tool show that the UK version attracted a 7.9% share during this period. This leaves a further 12.3% for all the other search engines, such as Ask Jeeves, Lycos and AltaVista.

The Hitwise data also shows that Google is more dominant as a search tool in the UK than the US, where it has a lower share of search traffic at 56.7% as it faces more competition from Yahoo, which shows a 29.9% market share.

The research also showed that different UK search engines tend to be used for different purposes. For example, MSN and Wanadoo (Overture/Yahoo results) tend to send more searchers to travel sites than other search engines, while Ask Jeeves is stronger for shopping and classified categories.

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