The total worldwide online search market grew 46% in December 2009 compared to December 2008, according to the latest qSearch data from digital research firm comScore, Inc.
US, China Lead in Total Number of Searches
During December 2009, internet users conducted 131.3 billion online searches, compared to 89.7 billion online searches in December 2008. The US led all countries in total online searches, conducting 22.8 billion. This represents 22% growth from 18.7 billion in December 2008. China ranked second with 13.3 billion searches, a 13% increase from 11.8 billion a year earlier. Japan came in at number three, growing 48% from 6.2 billion to 9.2 billion searches, followed by the UK, which grew 35% from 4.6 billion to 6.2 billion searches.
Russia, France Lead in Search Growth
Russia experienced the highest percentage of online search growth during December 2009, shooting up 92% from 1.7 billion to 3.3 billion searches. Russia had the tenth-largest number of total searches for the month. Following Russia was France, which grew 61% from 3.4 to 5.4 billion searches. France had the seventh-highest monthly online search total.
Brazil ranked third in online search growth, increasing 53% from 2.4 billion to 3.8 billion searches, which placed it eighth in total number of online searches. Japan had the fourth-highest search growth percentage for December 2009.
Google Dominates Total Number of Searches
Google Sites was by far the most popular search property during December 2009, collecting 87.8 billion searches worldwide, a 58% increase from 55.6 billion in December 2008. Its closest competitor, Yahoo Sites, collected 9.4 billion searches worldwide, a 13% increase from December 2008. Rounding out the top five were Chinese search engine Baidu.com, growing 7% from 8 billion to 8.5 billion searches, Microsoft Sites, growing 70% from 2.4 billion to 4.1 billion searches, and eBay, growing 58% from 1.3 billion to 2.1 billion searches.
Yandex Leads Growth
Matching the explosive growth of online searches in its home country, Russian search engine Yandex had the highest growth of any search property during 2009, growing 91% from 992 million to 1.9 billion searches. Microsoft Sites came in with the second-highest growth percentage, followed by Google Sites. Social networking site Facebook.com had the fourth highest percentage of growth for the month, rising 54% from 1 billion to 1.6 billion searches. Ask Network followed with 43% growth, increasing from 1 billion to 1.5 billion searches. One search property, Alibaba.com Corporation, experienced negative growth, dropping 1% from 1.1 billion searches in December 2008 to 1 billion searches in December 2009.
US Search Behavior Matches Global Behavior
US internet users showed similar online search preferences during December 2009 as the global population did. According to previously released comScore qSearch data, Google Sites led the US search market pack in December with 65.7% of the searches conducted, or almost 9.7 billion of a total 14.7 billion US searches conducted on the most popular US search engines. Bing, the primary search property of Microsoft Sites, displayed impressive US growth during the month, increasing its query volume 6% from November 2009 to nearly 1.4 billion searches, almost 10% of the total.