Asia among top search markets in 2009

Global search queries clocked 131 billion in December, with China and Japan ranked after the United States in search volume, according to ComScore.

The worldwide search market hit 131 billion in December 2009, an increase of 46 percent compared with 89.7 billion search queries in December 2008, said a new finding by online monitoring and analysis firm ComScore.

China and Japan had the second- and third-largest search volume, with 13.3 billion and 9.2 billion search queries, respectively, according to the report released on Friday. The United States topped the list, chalking up 22.7 billion searches, accounting for approximately 17 percent of all search queries conducted.

"The global search market continues to grow at an extraordinary rate, with both highly developed and emerging markets contributing to the strong growth worldwide,” said ComScore executive vice president Jack Flanagan in the report.

"Search is clearly becoming a more ubiquitous behavior among Internet users that drives navigation not only directly from search engines, but also within sites and across networks," he added.

Search giant Google continued to rank as the top search engine worldwide, commanding 66.8 percent of the market with 87.8 billion searches. Yahoo grabbed second position with 9.4 billion searches, a 13 percent increase.

Chinese search engine Baidu followed with 8.5 billion searches, posting a 7 percent increase from the previous year. Baidu's search share will likely increase with Google's recent announcement that it may leave China over censorship issues.

The report also noted that Microsoft search volume had the largest growth at 70 percent among the top five search engines, reaching 4.1 billion searches with the introduction of its Bing search engine.

E-commerce network eBay netted fifth position, growing at 58 percent, while Facebook was the top performer among social networks at eighth place, with a search growth of 54 percent from a year ago.

Among the top 10 markets, Russia had the largest growth, rising 92 percent, followed by France with 61 percent and Brazil at 53 percent.