Google boosts search lead over Yahoo, Microsoft

Americans turned to the search giant for 11 billion searches in August, says ComScore

Google Inc. continued to bolster its hold on the U.S. search market in August, when it captured 63% of 11 billion searches, according to data released yesterday.

The share of searches on Google sites increased from 61% in July, according to ComScore Inc., which measures and analyzes online activity. In August, Google was followed by Yahoo Inc. (which captured a 19% share of searches), Microsoft Corp. (8%), AOL (4.3%) and the Ask Network (4%).

ComScore said that Google handled 7 billion of the 11 billion searches on core sites by Americans in August. Meanwhile, Yahoo handled 2 billion and Microsoft handled 977 million.

Google's slight increase in August came at the expense of Yahoo and Microsoft, which trended downward by 0.9 percentage points and 0.6 percentage points, respectively, the report said.

ComScore also tracked the top overall Web properties -- which include the sites of search companies and their subsidiaries. Google-owned sites, which include video-sharing site YouTube, led that list with 10 billion searches, a 2% increase from July. Yahoo sites, which include photo-sharing site Flickr, ranked second with 2 billion while Microsoft sites followed with 1 billion and AOL and its Mapquest site had 839 million searches.

Google's continued domination of the search market comes in the midst of its effort to defend its proposed search advertising deal with Yahoo. The plan, which would have Yahoo running Google ads alongside its search results has come under fire from advertising groups, and the U.S. Department of Justice hired a top litigator to consider whether the deal violates antitrust regulations.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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