Google China's share of the Chinese search advertising market in Q4'10 rose for the first time since the company threatened to leave, according to a Beijing-based market research firm.
Google's search advertising share increased to 23.1%, up from 21.6% in Q3 -- still much lower than its 35.6% share at the end of 2009. However, the Chinese search engine Baidu.com, Google's rival in China, has long dominated the search business in the country, with a market share currently at 71.7%.
Both Google and Baidu have cemented their user base in the country, said Sabrina Dong, an analyst with Analysys. In the future, the two search engines' market shares will remain about the same, with Dong adding that "Google and Baidu will lead as the top two."
In time, though, other domestic search engines may cut into their market share, Dong said. Other search companies including Sogou.com and Goso.cn hope to attract more users. E-commerce giant Alibaba Group also launched a beta version of its shopping search engine called Etao last year.