In July, 2007, 5.8 billion online searches were conducted in Japan, up 21.9 percent from July, 2006. Yahoo! has the largest share of searches at 47.4 percent, but Google is coming on strongly with a share of 35.0 percent. Google’s search volume has increased 53.3 percent in the last 12 months while Yahoo!’s number of searches is down 12.4 percent.
Google appears to be picking up more of the active searchers as their users completed an average of 64.5 searches per searcher in July 2007, versus 56.0 searches per searcher on Yahoo!
It looks like more searches on Google, but in reality I think Yahoo has many more unique users and those users spend more time on Yahoo properties sites. Google doesn't have the depth of content compared to Yahoo (by choice).
Google might be gaining but I think Yahoo is still firmly number one in Japan.
[edited by: bill at 5:30 am (utc) on Sep. 13, 2007] [edit reason] fixed link [/edit]
i wonder if a habit many japanese have is affecting these results. so often i see in japan that people have never got the hang of the fact that you can enter the url direct in the address bar; rather, they enter the full url in the search field, then click on site from the results from the search engine.
so if by default yahoo is the start page of their browser (as so often is), even though they are entering a url in the search field, it still counts as a search right?
To be fair I know a lot of people outside Japan that do that as well. ;) It's an odd phenomenon that I have yet to understand.
One of my reasons for removing search boxes on some of my sites was that people often entered their URLs there. While it was interesting to see where some people were headed next I didn't see it helping me of my visitors.