In news that you probably already knew, online intelligence outfit Experian Hitwise has released figures that show Google is the dominant search engine in New Zealand. But, with its recent moves to increase the focus on national search domain identity, the local arm. Google.co.nz, is on the up and is now receiving over 86 per cent of all New Zealand searches.
Changes implemented by Google at the end of February have meant searches made through Google.com from co.nz domains are automatically redirected to Google.co.nz. And this has led to a big change in the balance of searches between the two Google domains, with searches on Google.co.nz up 12.66 percent and searches on Google.com down almost 60 percent.
Bing.com is the only other search engine to experience an increase in share of searches over the past three months, although this was minimal at 3.35 per cent.
Yahoo!NZ search continues to struggle, with both Yahoo!Search domains experiencing substantial decreases. But while this data shows that its search business may be faltering, Yahoo!Xtra has taken the title as New Zealand's favourite homepage for the third month running. Research from Nielsen Netratings shows Yahoo!Xtra’s homepage received 3.6 million domestic unique browsers for the month of May, making its homepage audience 10 percent larger than TradeMe’s homepage.
Search term length is continuing to increase as users become more specific in their searches and provide more detail. This follows a global trend seen across many countries in the Experian Hitwise sample, including Australia.
Search engines also continue to be the primary way internet users navigate to key industries. Shopping, classifieds and aviation were the only two industries of the sixteen parent industries monitored by Experian Hitwise to show a decrease in visits referred directly from search engines, comparing May 2010 with May 2009.
Bing’s greatest growth in referral rates was to education (+33.96 percent). Google.co.nz delivered the largest increases for Food and Beverage (+25.81 percent) and Health and Medical (+23.52 percent), whilst Yahoo!NZ Search lost substantial levels of upstream share across all three industries.