UK users pick Google when it comes to web search

Consumers in the UK associate the Google brand with search, Yahoo! with its portal properties and MSN with Messenger and Hotmail, according to site intelligence company Hitwise.

The findings, from a search engine brand comparison analysis, bear strong similarities with a US comparison of the three brands, also conducted by Hitwise.

However, there were some significant differences in the two markets.

The analysis revealed that US consumers associate MSN with its portal content including Games, Money, Chat and Music, while in the UK the brand is heavily linked with Messenger and Hotmail.

While Google is strongly associated with search in both markets, US consumers were far more likely to search for the Google search engine.

US consumers did not have strong recognition with Google's "portal-like" tools, whereas consumers in the UK strongly associated Google Video with the parent brand.

"This is quite a recent phenomenon and seems to coincide with the launch of the UK specific site for Google Video," Heather Hopkins, vice-president of research at Hitwise, said.

UK and US consumers regarded the Yahoo! brand as a strong portal identity, associating it with its channels and content. However these associations were stronger in the US market.

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