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On the web, it's
search and acquire

Here's shocker: We use engines to find the best deals

By Diego Vasquez

   Search engines have become more than just a place to Google your ex-boyfriend or search out all the things you most wanted to know about the duck-bill platypus.
   They’ve actually become a primary tool for shoppers.
   In January, more than three fourths of the active online U.S. population, some 114.5 million people, or about a third of the total population, used search engines, according to  Nielsen//NetRatings. 
   And a goodly share of that searching was to shop online for the best deals, with Google being the shoppers' engine of choice.
   In a Nielsen//NetRatings poll, 36 percent of respondents said they used Google to find online stores. Yahoo! Search was the choice of 25 percent of those polled, with 14 percent going to MSN Search.
  No surprise, considering the nature of the internet, most of those web shoppers were using search engines to compare prices.
   When it comes to what people like about the search engines they use, nothing is more important than the results they generate. More than half of people polled by Nielsen//NetRatings ranked "can find relevant information" as the top priority in choosing a search engine.
   "Can get credible results" was second, with 34 percent of those polled ranking it as most important. 
   Speed of the engines was third, with 33 percent of respondents ranking "get results quickly" as No. 1.
   Usability was next in importance for users, with 19 percent of those polled ranking "has an easy to use interface" was most important.
   Name recognition and bells and whistles were least important for search engine users. "Is well known" and "has cool design" each were most important to 18 percent of those polled.
   The top five engines used during January were Google, Yahoo! Search, MSN Search, AOL Search and Ask Jeeves.
  In other internet ratings news, the online tracking company Hitwise reports that iTunes overtook Kazaa for the first time in its history on Super Bowl Sunday, with traffic to the site jumping 586 percent after its joint promotion with Pepsi.
   Traffic to e-greetings sites, though, was down on Valentine’s Day compared to last year. Hitwise reports that e-greetings accounted for 1.23 percent of internet traffic on Feb. 14 compared to 1.39 percent last year, a dip of 11.5 percent.

Top 25 parent companies
Through Feb. 15

#

Parent

Unique Audience (000)

Reach %

Time spent per person (hh:mm:ss)

1

Microsoft

58,644

52.0

0:36:03

2

Time Warner

52,579

46.6

1:32:23

3

Yahoo!

48,719

43.2

0:45:24

4

Google

24,755

22.0

0:10:09

5

eBay

22,322

19.8

0:39:17

6

United States Government

13,822

12.3

0:12:57

7

RealNetworks

9,912

8.8

0:17:24

8

Amazon

8,725

7.7

0:09:57

9

InterActiveCorp

8,576

7.6

0:13:59

10

Excite Network

8,276

7.3

0:17:30

11

Terra Lycos

7,739

6.9

0:05:49

12

Landmark Communications

6,819

6.1

0:06:01

13

Walt Disney Internet Group

6,817

6.1

0:19:29

14

Viacom International

6,596

5.9

0:13:30

15

About-Primedia

6,511

5.8

0:04:32

16

EarthLink

5,959

5.3

0:30:55

17

United Online

5,911

5.2

1:00:10

18

Claria Corporation

5,562

4.9

0:01:30

19

AWS Convergence Technologies

5,252

4.7

0:07:20

20

Apple Computer

4,976

4.4

0:06:38

21

Verizon Communications

4,818

4.3

0:11:13

22

Electronic Arts

4,717

4.2

0:45:18

23

American Greetings

4,543

4.0

0:07:45

24

CNET Networks

4,396

3.9

0:06:01

25

Comcast Corp.

4,239

3.8

0:16:03

Source: Nielsen//NetRatings

 

Top 25 brands
Through Feb. 15

 

Parent

Unique Audience (000)

Reach %

Time spent per person (hh:mm:ss)

1

MSN

47,572

42.2

0:31:57

2

Yahoo!

47,294

42.0

0:46:29

3

Microsoft

41,643

36.9

0:14:15

4

AOL

40,515

35.9

1:49:27

5

Google

24,586

21.8

0:10:06

6

eBay

21,755

19.3

0:38:22

7

Real

9,747

8.6

0:15:53

8

Amazon

7,664

6.8

0:09:22

9

Lycos Network

7,143

6.3

0:05:48

10

Weather Channel

6,639

5.9

0:05:44

11

Netscape

6,172

5.5

0:10:58

12

CNN

5,875

5.2

0:08:41

13

Gator Network

5,556

4.9

0:01:30

14

WeatherBug

5,229

4.6

0:07:19

15

EarthLink

5,191

4.6

0:32:08

16

MapQuest

4,997

4.4

0:06:48

17

Apple

4,976

4.4

0:06:38

18

EA Online

4,717

4.2

0:45:17

19

Comcast

4,226

3.8

0:16:05

20

About.com

4,132

3.7

0:04:19

21

Tickle

4,040

3.6

0:02:37

22

AT&T

3,858

3.4

0:18:04

23

Disney Online

3,820

3.4

0:21:53

24

MusicMatch Jukebox

3,733

3.3

0:26:49

25

My Way

3,723

3.3

0:07:50

Source: Nielsen//NetRatings

 

Top 25 advertisers 
(excludes house ads)
Through Feb. 8

#

Company

Impressions (000)

1

Netflix, Inc.

692,493

2

LowerMyBills.com, Inc.

501,667

3

InterActiveCorp

476,150

4

Apollo Group, Inc.

404,499

5

Ameritrade Holding Corporation

379,782

6

Classmates Online, Inc.

369,665

7

TaxACT

356,876

8

eDiets.com, Inc.

353,227

9

SBC Communications, Inc.

351,603

10

Ameriquest Mortgage Company

327,976

11

Microsoft Corporation

313,290

12

MatchNet plc

293,647

13

DaimlerChrysler Corporation

293,148

14

Weight Watchers International, Inc.

291,984

15

Dell Computer Corporation

280,310

16

Fun Web Products

263,853

17

American Express Company

263,207

18

Art Instruction Schools

258,448

19

Sabre Holdings Inc.

255,374

20

Scottrade, Inc.

254,306

21

Amazon.com, Inc.

239,732

22

Classes USA, Inc.

216,983

23

Agora Media, Inc

212,535

24

MBNA Corporation

200,321

25

Orbitz

200,014

Source: Nielsen//NetRatings AdRelevance

 

Top 25 advertising sites
(excludes house ads)
Through Feb. 8

 

Company

Impressions (000)

1

Yahoo!

5,289,750

2

MSN

3,084,152

3

eBay

912,602

4

iWon

807,711

5

CNN

599,763

6

Netscape

519,353

7

Juno

457,648

8

The Weather Channel

432,340

9

MSNBC

397,809

10

Excite

384,516

11

AOL.com

379,890

12

NetZero

361,187

13

ESPN.com

273,831

14

EarthLink

272,049

15

The New York Times

259,857

16

AT&T Worldnet

212,833

17

BlackPlanet.com

174,082

18

Realtor.com

171,249

19

Pogo

169,272

20

Classmates

159,053

21

Boston.com

146,539

22

MLB.com

145,255

23

Webshots

125,604

24

Lycos

114,944

25

CBS MarketWatch

111,403

Source: Nielsen//NetRatings AdRelevance

 

Average use
Through Feb. 15

 

 

Current Week

Last Week

% Change

 

Sessions/Visits per Person

10

10

0.00

 

Domains Visited per Person

23

23

0.00

 

PC Time per Person

8:09:34

8:31:11

-4.23

 

Active Digital Media Universe

112,839,854

111,799,790

0.93

 

Current Digital Media Universe Estimate

204,307,206

204,306,741

0.00

Source: Nielsen//Net Ratings AdRelevance

 


February 24, 2004© 2004 Media Life


-Diego Vasquez is a Washington writer.


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