NEW YORK, Dec. 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Nielsen//NetRatings, a global leader in Internet media and market research, reported today that the volume of Internet search queries grew to more than 5.1 billion in October 2005, up 15 percent from five months ago (see Table 1). Ask Jeeves led as the fastest growing search player out of the top five search engines, skyrocketing 77 percent in search volume, while Google maintained its leader position with the largest market share of nearly half of all searches, or 48 percent, by generating 2.4 billion requests. The top four search players, Google, Yahoo!, MSN and AOL have maintained the same rankings in the past five months with little to no change in market share. Ask Jeeves leapt into the top five spot, garnering a 2.1 percent market share in August, edging out My Way Search, and has maintained its top five position in subsequent months. In October, Ask Jeeves held a search market share of 2.6 percent. "Search volume continues to increase and is generated consistently among the 'Big Three', growing their collective market share," said Ken Cassar, director of strategic analysis, Nielsen//NetRatings. "Google, in particular, continues to find itself in an enviable position, enjoying dominant market share and very strong growth." Table 1. Top 5 Search Engines and Latest Share of Searches, June & October 2005 ________________________________________________________________________ Provider Jun-05 Oct-05 June to Oct. Oct-05 Share Searches Searches Growth of Searches (000) (000) ________________________________________________________________________ Total 4,447,406 5,134,713 15% -- ________________________________________________________________________ Google 2,032,222 2,449,396 21% 47.7% ________________________________________________________________________ Yahoo! 965,642 1,118,429 16% 21.8% ________________________________________________________________________ MSN 540,686 582,702 8% 11.3% ________________________________________________________________________ AOL 358,667 368,130 3% 7.2% ________________________________________________________________________ Ask Jeeves 75,808 133,932 77% 2.6% ________________________________________________________________________ Source: Nielsen//NetRatings MegaView Search, December 2005 Picture It -- Image Queries Take the Lead in Growing Up Image is the fastest growing vertical among the search requests across all search engines. While general Web searching continues to capture the largest search activity, requests for images shot up to 328 million queries in October, up 36.6 percent from five months prior (see Table 2). Local, Web and News searches strong growth as well, garnering increases of 19.2 percent, 14.2 percent and 12.7 percent, respectively. Cassar continued, "As the search market continues to mature, consumers' relationships with the major search engines have only grown deeper. Natural selection is alive and well on the Internet." Table 2. Breakdown of Search by Vertical, June & October 2005 _________________________________________________________________________ Search Jun-05 Oct-05 June to Verticals Searches Searches Oct. Growth (000) (000) _________________________________________________________________________ Image 240,393 328,275 36.6% _________________________________________________________________________ Local 148,907 177,494 19.2% _________________________________________________________________________ Web 3,951,107 4,511,808 14.2% _________________________________________________________________________ News 31,706 35,721 12.7% _________________________________________________________________________ Shopping 70,351 77,270 9.8% _________________________________________________________________________ Source: Nielsen//NetRatings MegaView Search, December 2005 About MegaView Search Service MegaView Search service is based on the Nielsen//NetRatings' MegaPanel(R), which provides search providers and Internet publishers with the most comprehensive intelligence to develop efficient advertising opportunities by providing marketers insight into how consumers navigate through the Web. By combining these survey results with the actual surfing habits of the respondents, search providers and Internet publishers are able to better understand how consumers are searching online. MegaView Search was the second product introduced from MegaPanel, an online syndicated suite of services that provides comprehensive Internet market research for key vertical industries including financial services, search, online retail, travel and local markets. About Nielsen//NetRatings NetRatings, Inc. (Nasdaq: NTRT) delivers leading Internet media and market research solutions, marketed globally under the Nielsen//NetRatings brand. With high quality, technology-driven products and services, Nielsen//NetRatings is the global standard for Internet audience measurement and premier source for online advertising intelligence, enabling clients to make informed business decisions regarding their Internet and digital strategies. The Nielsen//NetRatings portfolio includes panel-based and site-centric Internet audience measurement services, online advertising intelligence, user lifestyle and demographic data, e-commerce and transaction metrics, and custom data, research and analysis. For more information, please visit www.nielsen-netratings.com. CONTACT: Tracy Yen, +1-408-941-2932, or Suzy Bausch, +1-408-941-2965, both for NetRatings, Inc.