Google stays strong as Yahoo slips in search market

Bing-powered search sites still no match for Google and its 72% share

Google had a good month in September, with its search share gaining and rivals Yahoo and Microsoft Bing taking a hit.

Google, the dominant search leader, grabbed 72.15% of all U.S. searches in the four weeks ending Oct. 2, according to Hitwise, an online traffic monitor. That's up slightly from 71.59% in August.

Microsoft Bing, which is Google's biggest rival, didn't have such a great month in September, though.

Hitwise reported Friday that Bing-powered search sites handled 23.64% of U.S. searches for the month, with Yahoo grabbing 13.54% and Bing itself pulling in 10.10%. Bing-powered search sites are down 2% overall, while Yahoo is down 5%. Bing itself went up 2%.

Microsoft and Yahoo announced in August that Bing is fueling Yahoo search results in the U.S. and Canada. The search integration came more than a year after both companies announced they were joining forces to better take on Google -- since neither company had made any headway on its own.

The latest Hitwise report shows that Yahoo suffered after integration, while Bing saw only a small bump.

"It's a pretty small slip and only based on a month's worth of data," said Dan Olds, an analyst at Gabriel Consulting Group. "I'm sure that these aren't the results that Bing marketers are looking for... but the holiday season might be key for them. Search engines receive a real workout with all of the holiday shopping, travel planning and the like. It will be interesting to see how Bing fares over the next three months or so."

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her e-mail address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

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