The latest figures from representatives of major ratings and traffic analysis services confirm Google’s dominance of both the UK and global search engine markets.

Search Engine Watch has a round up of the latest search engine statistics presented by representatives from Hitwise, Neilsen/NetRatings and others at the recent Search Engine Strategies conference in London.

Alex Burmaster, European Internet analyst at Nielsen//NetRatings, Heather Hopkins from Hitwise, and Richard Zwicky, CEO of Enquisite all provided some interesting facts and figures on search market share.

Global search engine use:

  • 256m people visited a search engine in December 2006 – this represents 81% of global internet users.
  • The global search audience has grown by 10% over the last year, while the total Internet audience grew 8%.
  • Search engine use grew dramatically in France (27%) and Spain (21%), ahead of the US (8%), though the US remains the largest search market
  • Search is most popular in the UK (85%), France (83%) and Spain (83%). For the US, the figure is 77%.
  • The average search engine user views 93 search pages a month, taking an average of 27 minutes.

UK search engine use:

  • In the UK, search engines are the largest website category, traffic-wise, having overtaken adult Web sites in October 2006.
  • Market share of visits to UK search engines was up 22% year on year in December; but other categories grew faster, including a 34% increase for Net Communities, 24% for News and Media sites.
  • Google was used for 77% of UK internet searches in month before February 10, 2007; Yahoo Search powered 8%, while Ask.com and MSN Search both powered 5% of searches.
  • Searchers behave differently on different search engines – on Google and Yahoo, searches for MySpace and Bebo were more prominent.
  • By contrast, searches on Ask.com were more commercial, including searches for “car insurance” and “share prices”.

Google’s global dominance:

  • Google’s audience has grown almost 2.5 times the rate of search’s. It now has almost 3 times the audience of Yahoo Search.
  • Google had a 71.6% share of the global search market between August 2006 and January 2007.
  • In the same period, Yahoo had an 11.1% share of the market.
  • From January 20 to February 12 this year, Google’s share dropped to 67.1%.

Is there any hope that Google will be toppled in the near(ish) future?