It may dominate Internet search in many countries, but Google has only just broken into Japan's Internet top 10, according to data published Monday by NetRatings Japan.
The search engine and its associated sites attracted 17.4 million users in September, up from 12.1 million in the same period a year earlier and enough to give it 10th spot in the month's Web property ranking. It sits just behind Amazon.com's site, which garnered 17.5 million users and well behind top-ranked Yahoo Japan, which 23.6 million visited during the month, said NetRatings.
When ranked by page views the Google family of sites does even better. Among the top 10 properties Google attracted the third largest number of page views at 2 billion for the month, behind the Rakuten online mall at 4.3 billion and Yahoo at 23.6 billion.
Google launched its Japanese service in September 2000 but has been frustrated in its push to achieve the same level of popularity that it achieved elsewhere. As part of this push it took out a series of advertisements on trains and in railway stations last year to promote the then-new Google News service. It was the first time that Google had used advertising to reach the general public anywhere in the world.
Google's chief competitor is Yahoo Japan. Backed by Softbank, the service easily leads all competition in Japan through a series of services including Yahoo Auctions.