07:13 AM

Survey Shows Top Searchers Use Many Search Engines

Microsoft, with its new Bing search service should get some cheer from Nielsen Online. It surveyed "heavy searchers" the top 20 per cent of users that generate 80 per cent of all searches. It found that 72 per cent use 3 or more search engines per month.

Nielsen also found that nearly one third (30 per cent) of those using Google, also use MSN/Windows Live. The company says that this "disloyalty" means Microsoft could have a smaller hurdle in getting users behind Bing. It also likes MSFT's focus on key verticals such as travel, shopping, health and local search as being a good strategy rather than "simply trying to make a better Google."

Foremski's Take:

There's nothing "simply" about making a better Google. Nielsen doesn't say anything about who are the heavy searchers and why they do so many searches.

Heavy searchers are not necessarily heavy spenders. MSFT needs to convince a large number of the 80 per cent of regular searchers to use its search services. And that's tough because it must become a user habit rather than an occasional foray to find cheap travel deals.