Google's search lead still growing

Google last month extended its already substantial lead in the search market, capturing a greater share of the traffic from distant second Yahoo, according to a study released today from online research firm Hitwise.

Google delivered 64.49 percent of all Internet searches made by U.S. users during the four weeks ending Oct. 27, up from 60.94 percent in the same period last year.

Yahoo, by comparison, trended down. Last October, Yahoo provided 22.34 percent of U.S. searches. This year, Yahoo's share fell slightly to 21.65 percent for the month, despite efforts to enhance and add features to its search.

Google gained almost a full percentage point just from September to October of this year, according to the survey. That increase correlates with the 0.9 percent drop in Yahoo's market share from the same period.

Microsoft also saw its market share decline. Last October, searches made through both and MSN Live accounted for 10.72 percent of the market. That figure dropped to 7.42 percent this year. Like Yahoo, Microsoft recently undertook efforts to roll out new a host of new functions to encourage greater use. proved the only gainer among Google's rivals. During October, accounted for 4.76 percent of all U.S. searches, representing a modest gain of less than one-half a percentage point in overall market share, the survey found.

The other 49 search engines that Hitwise tracked delivered 1.68 percent of all searches during October.

The study also looked at the amount of Internet traffic coming from search by industry category.

The most dramatic increase came in the "business and finance" category, where search-generated traffic jumped 19 percent from last year. Search-generated traffic in the "entertainment" category increased 15 percent from last year.

By category, Google's share of search traffic increased across the board. The biggest increases in search traffic from last year came in business, finance (30.81 percent) and travel (23.54 percent) and entertainment (16.17 percent).

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