According to the latest data from iUserTracker, iResearch's user behavior monitoring software, China web search requests reach 77.51billion in Q3 2011, growing by 6.1% compared to Q2 2011 and by 16.3% over the same period last year, showing a slower growth rate compared with Q2. iResearch holds that slow increase in search requests in Q3 can be attributed to the following factors: firstly, Q3 witnesses no continuous breaking events to drive users demands; secondly, traffic of Baidu decreases in September due to its new homepage strategy.
Affected by its new homepage, web search requests of Baidu falls after rise in Q3 2011
In terms of web search requests among different brands, the data of Baidu fluctuates largely in Q3 2011. New data, released by iResearch’s iUserTracker, shows that search requests of Baidu increases to 22.06 billion in July and 23.19 in August, while in September, it decreases 9.2% to 21.04 billion compared with August, which is roughly equivalent to the level of June.
iResearch attributes the decrease of Baidu’s web search requests in September to its new homepage released early that month. Apart from the search bar, four new sections have been added on its new homepage, including navigation, search trends, apps and feeds. According to traffic data presented by iUserTracker, on one hand, Baidu’s new homepage well satisfies some users’ demands for Internet service: users have access to more websites without searching, which greatly improves the convenience when surfing online; on the other hand, new homepage has a negative impact on search traffic by dragging down the volume of search requests.
Baidu accounts for 85.5% market share
As for market share, search requests of Baidu still increases significantly in Q3 2011 due to rapid growth in July and August, despite of a sharp drop in September. In Q3 2011, Baidu takes a market share of 85.5%, up 1.7% over Q2, and keeps a steady growth. Owing to a noticeable increase of Baidu, other brands have been affected. Google’s share drops to 7.4% in Q3, a 0.8% decrease from last quarter. Sogou continues its diverse development in map, music, online shopping, etc. Meanwhile, it releases image-based search and other types of new services. Sogou has continuously improved its search service, as well as launched an open platform for browser and a series of other innovative products, therefore, its future development gains great attention and expectations. Moreover, based on Tencent’s business layout, Soso’s search service shows a tight integration with community products, aiming to uplift Soso’s value and influence via Qzone, Weibo and Wenwen.
Given the impact of new homepage on users’ search demands, iResearch considers, in Q4, the market share of Baidu in search requests still remains to be seen.