Online shoppers turn to Google for search: report

Online shoppers picked Google Inc. as their search engine of choice this December while making their holiday Web purchases, according to a report issued on Wednesday.

Internet measurement firm Hitwise found that 11.1 percent of all December shopping-related visits originated with Google, a 28 percent jump over last year. But online auction giant eBay Inc was the biggest driver of traffic to shopping sites, generating more than 13 percent of retail traffic.

Search engines Yahoo! Search and Microsoft Corp.'s MSN Search drove 4.05 percent and 0.79 percent of retail visits, respectively.

Online retail giant, which is the second most visited online shopping site after eBay, generated only 0.75 percent of visits to other shopping retailers, Hitwise found.

Some 18.3 percent of all visits to shopping and classified websites originated with search engines.

Hitwise found that eBay Inc. ,, Google's online shopping site Froogle and Shopzilla's BizRate were the four most popular online shopping sites originating from Google in December, representing 18.1 percent of the traffic to retailers generated by Google.

Hitwise also found that searches containing the word "iPod" during the holiday season rose 175 over last year. On Tuesday, Apple Computer Inc. attributed a 63 percent jump in its holiday quarter sales largely to the success of the iPod and said 42 million of the devices have been sold to date.

Visits to music download sites surged on Christmas day, Hitwise found, rising 172 percent over last year. For the week ending January 7, Apple's iTunes was the most popular among the top 7 music downloading sites with 39 percent of visits, followed by the US’s Wal-Mart Stores Inc's with 14 percent.

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