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Google and Yahoo! Outpace Overall Search

Nielsen//NetRatings announced that year over year, searches on Google and Yahoo! grew 41 percent and 47 percent, respectively, outpacing the overall search growth rate of 36 percent.

Google's searches increased from 2.1 billion in March 2005 to 2.9 billion in March 2006, while in the same time period Yahoo's searches increased from 907.8 million to 1.3 billion. The No. 3 search provider, MSN, saw a 9 percent year-over-year growth in searches, from 592.2 million to 643.8 million.

In March, Google and Yahoo! also gained search market share, increasing two percentage points and one percentage point year over year, respectively. Google now accounts for 49 percent of all searches, Yahoo! 22 percent. MSN's share dropped slightly, from 14 to 11 percent.

Buzz is increasing about the Internet-television connection, with online offerings of popular TV shows from ABC, CBS and other distributors, and the replacement of family television sets by so-called �media centers,� which are run by personal computers and allow consumers to access digital entertainment, including Web content and television shows, from the same device.

Among top television search terms in March, �American Idol� topped the list, followed by �Days of Our Lives,� and �Deal or No Deal.� �American Idol� takes advantage of the Web to actively engage its audience, allowing them to vote for their favorite performers online. �Days of Our Lives� relies on its viewers' thirst for details about the comings and goings of their favorite characters. And �Deal or No Deal� offers an online contest in which players can win cash by sending a text message via cell phone.

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