The Electronic Library

ISSN: 0264-0473

Article publication date: 1 October 2004



(2004), "International", The Electronic Library, Vol. 22 No. 5.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Compiled by Monica Blake


Consumer use of search engines

More than 40 million consumers in the UK, France and Germany used search engines in April 2004. A multi-country qSearch analysis by comScore Networks revealed that the UK has a more developed online search market than France, Germany, the USA and Canada. In April, the average UK search engine user conducted 41.8 searches, the highest usage level of the five countries analysed. Canada was a close second, with just under 40 searches per search engine user, while US, French and German users conducted between 31 and 35 searches per month.

By comparing the Internet reach and search engine penetration of Google, MSN, Time Warner (AOL) and Yahoo!, comScore found that the major Internet portals have a significant opportunity to convert existing visitors to search engine users. For example, nearly 80 percent of UK Internet users visited MSN-Microsoft sites in April, but just 34 percent of search engine users conducted a search at an MSN search engine during the month. Likewise, Yahoo! reaches 43 percent of the French Internet population, but only 23 percent of the country’s search engine users. With the exception of the USA, where Yahoo! leads in search penetration, Google was used by a greater number of people in each of the countries analysed than any other search engine.

An analysis of the volume of searches conducted at Google, Yahoo! and MSN reveals that while Google is the top engine in all of the countries analysed, it leads by a significantly larger margin among non-US searchers. Specifically, Google accounted for more than 70 percent of searches conducted at the top three engines by users in Canada, France and the UK, versus 44 percent in the USA.

Google’s share advantage in Europe and Canada is a result of both the number of users who search at Google (i.e. search penetration) and the number of searches conducted by these users. For example, the average Google user in the UK conducted approximately 39 searches at the engine, compared to 15 searches by the average Yahoo! user, and just nine searches by the average MSN user.

ITU and Republic of Korea build digital bridges

ITU and MIC Korea have formed a new partnership to help achieve the internationally agreed upon goals of the first phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). Through an initial contribution of 540,000 CHF from the Korea Agency for Digital Opportunity and Promotion (KADO), the project called the Digital Bridges Initiative will provide tools to measure the gap in access to information and communications technologies (ICTs) that exists between developed and developing nations. This vast inequality in access to information also referred to as the “digital divide” threatens to slow the formation of a truly global, inclusive information society.

The Digital Bridges Initiative will also provide policy and technical expertise to close the digital divide, and a financial contribution towards the second phase of WSIS. The first activity under this new Initiative will be a workshop to be held in Busan, Republic of Korea, on 10 and 11 September.

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