Google and Yahoo! both increased their share of the US search market in October, according to Internet metrics company comScore. But the big surprise was that Microsoft's market share actually declined, despite massive technological advances. According to comScore, more than 6.8 billion searches were conducted in the United States in October--up 33 percent from the same month a year ago.
The Internet metrics company reported that Google now processes more than 45 percent of all Internet search queries in the United States, up .3 percent from the previous month. Meanwhile, Yahoo! is responsible for 28 percent of searches, up .1 percent. Microsoft dropped .2 percent to 11.7 percent, comScore reports. Ask.com and AOL round out the top five with 5.8 and 5.4 percent of the market, respectively.
Over the past year, only Google has gained market share, and all of its competitors have declined. Since October 2005, Google's share of the US search market has risen 6.4 percent. By comparison, Yahoo! has declined by 1 percent and Microsoft has fallen by 2.9 percent in the same time period.
However, the recent release of Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) 7.0 could have some interesting ramifications on these figures going forward. Google petitioned Microsoft and antitrust regulators in Europe for IE 7.0 to include a screen on which users can choose a different search engine. Google felt that many users, given the choice, would switch to Google's search service. Instead, Microsoft coded IE 7.0 so that users' already-configured search provider would be retained. This configuration will likely help Yahoo! and benefit Microsoft's Windows Live Search because IE 7.0 installs as part of Windows Vista.