Canadians Are More Active Online Searchers Than Their U.S. Counterparts, According to Comscore Networks

Comscore qSearch, the Industry Leading Search Measurement Service, Now Available for the Canadian Market

TORONTO, Ont., May 13, 2004 – Comscore Networks, the leader in the use of the Internet to measure and understand consumer behavior, today announced the launch of qSearch Canada. Comscore qSearch is the only information service to track usage of online search engines by analyzing actual search queries across the top search engines and portals. Since its launch in April 2003, qSearch has become the standard in online search measurement, providing the leading search engines, marketers, government agencies, financial analysts and journalists with the most accurate and granular measurement of the online search marketplace.

A qSearch analysis of the online search market in Canada found that Canadian residents are more active users of search engines than their U.S. counterparts. Approximately 85 percent of the Canadian Internet population conducted at least one search at the top engines each month, compared to 73 percent of the U.S. population. Not only are Canadian Internet users more likely to use a search engine, they also search more frequently than the average U.S. user. In April 2004, Canadian residents conducted approximately 575 million searches at major engines, or 40 searches per search engine user. By comparison, U.S. Internet users conducted approximately 3.6 billion searches per month, or 35 searches per searcher, on average in March 2004.

Search Engine Usage
U.S. and Canadian Internet Users
Source: Comscore qSearch

Total Searches per Month

Searches per Searcher per Month


Canadian Internet Users1

575 MM



U.S. Internet Users2

3.6 B



“With more than 60 percent of home users accessing the Web through a broadband connection, it didn’t surprise us to find that Canadians are more frequent search engine users,” said Brent Lowe-Bernie, president of Comscore MMX Canada. “These numbers should offer a clear indication to search providers and marketers that Canada is fertile market for search engine advertising.”

While Canadians are in many ways heavier Internet users than Americans, the online advertising market in Canada is less developed than it is in the U.S. Online advertising in Canada accounted for 1.5 percent of total advertising revenue in 20033 – less than half of the 3.3 percent share in U.S. market4. In the U.S., search marketing has grown to become the single largest segment of online advertising revenue, accounting for 35 percent of total Internet advertising spending in 20034. With qSearch data showing that Canadians are heavier online searchers than Americans, clearly a similar opportunity for commercialization exists in Canada.

“The combination of a mature search market and an underdeveloped online advertising market offers savvy advertisers a great opportunity to reach Canadians,” said James Lamberti, vice president of Comscore Networks. “Canadian marketers should take note – your target is online and searching.”

A comparison of search engine market share in Canada and the U.S. reveals significant differences in the competitive landscape of these two countries. Google, which has a 6-point share lead over Yahoo! in the U.S., holds a dominant share of the market in Canada, accounting for 62 percent of all searches conducted by Canadian Internet users in April 2004. In April, more than 40 percent of Canadian Internet users conducted at least one search at MSN and Yahoo! (as represented by “Searcher Penetration”), a reflection of the massive reach of their online properties, which are visited by 96 and 75 percent of the Canadian Internet population, respectively.

Share of Searches
U.S. and Canadian Internet Users
Source: Comscore qSearch


United States2

Share of Searches

Searcher Penetration

Share of Searches

Searcher Penetration

Google Sites





Yahoo! Sites





MSN-Microsoft Sites





All Other





For more information about Comscore Search Solutions, please call (416) 960-6763 or e-mail

¹Based on April 2004 data

²Based on March 2004 data (most recent available)

³IAB Canada estimate

42003 Interactive Advertising Bureau/PricewaterhouseCooper Internet Ad Revenue Report

About Comscore Networks
Comscore Networks provides unparalleled insight into consumer behavior. This capability is based on a representative cross-section of more than 1.5 million global Internet users who have given Comscore explicit permission to confidentially capture their Web-wide browsing, buying and other transaction behavior, including offline purchasing. Through its patent-pending technology, Comscore measures what matters across the entire spectrum of surfing and buying behavior. This deep knowledge of customers and competitors helps clients design more powerful marketing strategies and tactics that deliver superior ROI. Comscore services are used by global leaders such as Microsoft, The Newspaper Association of America, Knight Ridder Digital, Best Buy, Verizon, Nestlé, Wells Fargo & Company, GlaxoSmithKline, and Orbitz. For more information, please visit

Bill Daddi
Daddi Brand Communications

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