Holiday shoppers turned to search engines to find online retailers

More than 18 percent of online shoppers relied on search engines, particularly Google, to find the appropriate holiday gift, according to an online survey.

Hitwise, an online competitive intelligence service firm, reports that 11.1 percent of all shopping and classifieds site visits originated at Google in December 2005, an increase of 28 percent over December 2004. Yahoo! Search and MSN Search drove 4.05 percent and 0.79 percent of shopping and classifieds site visits respectively, while search engines in total drove 18.3 percent of those visits. The leading retail sites receiving visits from Google in December 2005 were eBay, Amazon, Froogle, and BizRate. These four sites combined accounted for 18.1 percent of Google’s downstream retail traffic.

iPods and MP3 Players were the most popular gifts of the season.

Hitwise, New York City, provides online competitive intelligence by monitoring how more than 25 million Internet users interact with more than 500,000 Web sites across 160 industry categories.