The Web: Google, Yahoo!, American Idol?

Nielsen/NetRatings released numbers earlier this week which continue to reinforce an already well establish trend in online searches: Google and Yahoo! dominate the pack, both in overall search growth and the month of March. Also in Nielsen’s numbers were top TV search terms and how they are demonstrating the convergence of two favorite glowing screens.

For overall online search growth year over year, said Nielsen/NetRatings, Google and Yahoo! “grew 41 percent and 47 percent, respectively, outpacing the overall search growth rate of 36 percent. Google’s searches increased from 2.1 billion in March 2005 to 2.9 billion in March 2006, while in the same time period Yahoo!’s searches increased from 907.8 million to 1.3 billion. The No. 3 search provider, MSN, saw a 9 percent year-over-year growth in searches, from 592.2 million to 643.8 million.”

March 2006 showed similar trends, with Google and Yahoo! increasing two percentage points and one percentage point year over year, respectively. Google maintains a commanding lead at 49 percent, followed by Yahoo! at 22 percent and MSN at a distant 11 percent.

As for top TV search terms, Nielsen/NetRatings said “American Idol” topped the list, followed by “Days of Our Lives,” and “Deal or No Deal”. The convergence factor between television and the Web is highlighted in these three via examples such as letting “America Idol” viewers vote online for their favorite performers and “Deal or No Deal” offering an online contest which lets players win cash by sending a text message over their cell phones.