Record breaking Christmas for search
December 2012 proved impressively popular for UK search, with internet users making a record 2.7 billion visits to search engines. This was largely driven by a record breaking online Christmas which saw 2.8 billion visits to UK online retail sites, 656 million of these visits occurring week ending 29 December alone, equating to a 30 per cent Year-on-year increase.
According to data from Experian Hitwise, visits to search engines increased by 12% between November and December with some of the key searches including Dancing on Ice 2013, the M6 car crash, the Mayan prophecy for the end of the world and the passing of Sir Patrick Moore. However it was the surge in activity for Christmas gift buying that was the main source of increased search behaviour.
Year-on-year search activity has increased by 17% with 400 million more visits going to search engines in December 2012 than in December 2011. The online retail industry also witnessed its biggest ever month for online visits, with 2.8 billion visits going to retail websites this December, 35% of which came from search engines.
During December Google dropped to its lowest market share in the last five years, accounting for 88% of all searches made in the UK. Microsoft Sites on the other hand, led by the bing engine increased its market share by 0.19% to hit a year high of 4.99%.
Clearly, Google still maintains a huge competitive edge over the other search engines in the UK market. There are seven times more searches conducted on Google Sites than on all the other search engines combined. Bing’s availability across multiple Microsoft devices and its collaboration with Facebook on Graph Search launched last week will contribute to increased market share as the way in which consumers use search engines continues to diversify.
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