Search Market Growth and Implications for Affiliates

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Online Search Having analyzed the growth of the global search market in the month of December 2009 compared to the search landscape in December 2008, comScore has registered a 46% increase in online search demand globally. The U.S. “represented the largest individual search market in the world” accounting for some 17% (or 22.7 billion searches total) of all global searches. China came second, followed by Japan, while the U.K. came forth. Encouragingly for me (needless to elaborate why I’m following this particular geographic market with great interest), Russia has registered “the highest gains in 2009” in the world growing almost two-fold. France and Brazil followed Russia in the “highest gains” race.

Here are the details from comScore:

    ------------------------------------------------------
    Top 10 Countries by Number of Searches Conducted Dec 2009 vs. Dec 2008
    ------------------------------------------------------
    Total Worldwide, Age 15+ - Home & Work Locations
    -------------------------------------------
    Source: comScore qSearch
    ----------------------
                                   Searches (MM)
                                   ------------

                                      12/08    12/09     Percent Change
                                      -----    -----     -------
    Worldwide                        89,708  131,354        46%
    -------------------------       -------  -------        ---
    United States                    18,688   22,741        22%
    --------------------------         ----     ----        ---
    China                            11,778   13,278        13%
    ----------------------             ----     ----        ---
    Japan                             6,213    9,170        48%
    ----------------------             ----     ----        ---
    United Kingdom                    4,623    6,245        35%
    ----------------------             ----     ----        ---
    Germany                           4,079    5,609        38%
    ----------------                   ----     ----        ---
    France                            3,362    5,425        61%
    --------------------------         ----     ----        ---
    South Korea                       2,796    4,039        44%
    ----------------------             ----     ----        ---
    Brazil                            2,454    3,763        53%
    ----------------------             ----     ----        ---
    Canada                            2,900    3,710        28%
    ----------------------             ----     ----        ---
    Russian Federation                1,735    3,333        92%
    ----------------                   ----     ----        ---

While Japan has also seen a substantial increase in search inquiries, it is a significantly more saturated market for affiliates to get into. This cannot be said about Russia, Brazil and France (the sequence of affiliate marketing development in these three countries would probably be backwards: France – more savvy, Russia – most underdeveloped). The above data definitely opens interesting horizons to specific geo-markets for affiliates.

Speaking of individual search platforms, Google was naturally leading the way, followed by Yahoo! sites. “Microsoft Sites saw the greatest gains among the top five properties, growing 70%”, but it was the Russian Yandex.ru that has registered the highest gains here too, having grown by 91% in 2009.

Here are the top 5 players worldwide:

    ------------------------------------------------------
    Top 10 Search Properties by Searches Conducted Dec 2009 vs. Dec 2008
    ------------------------------------------------------
    Total Worldwide, Age 15+ - Home & Work Locations
    -------------------------------------------
    Source: comScore qSearch
    ----------------------
                                   Searches (MM)
                                   ------------

                                      12/08    12/09     Percent Change
                                      -----    -----     -------
    Worldwide                        89,708  131,354        46%
    -------------------------       -------  -------        ---
    Google                           55,638   87,809        58%
    --------------------------         ----     ----        ---
    Yahoo                             8,389    9,444        13%
    ----------------------             ----     ----        ---
    Baidu (China)                     7,963    8,534         7%
    ----------------------             ----     ----        ---
    Microsoft                         2,403    4,094        70%
    ----------------------             ----     ----        ---
    eBay                              1,327    2,102        58%
    ----------------------             ----     ----        ---

Bringing Bing to life has certainly helped Microsoft conquer more of the search market’s grounds, but they still have a long way to go to even come close to Google’s share of the pie. Microsoft and Yahoo! sites’ searches combined made up only a bit over 15% of Google’s total searches. Nevertheless, it would be irrational for search-oriented affiliates to ignore this part of the market altogether, and diversification should definitely be present in their strategies.

Once again, the findings from the comScore’s report may be found here. I wish we had more data than just the December 2008 to December 2009 comparison, but taking the holiday traffic increase into account, these are certainly important (and interesting) numbers to review.

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