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Global Searches Soar as Google's Lead Widens

Google Search
Where would we be without search engines?

In its latest analysis, online metrics firm comScore reported today that Internet users worldwide executed 113 billion searches in July, a 41 percent increase from the same month last year.

By the international tally, Google's hegemony in the search space is even more dramatic than its lead domestically.

In July, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) accounted for 67.5 percent of the market, performing 76.7 billion queries.

As in the U.S. rankings, Yahoo ranked second in the search market, though with 7.8 percent of the queries, its global share lags well behind the domestic market, where it handled 19.3 percent of the searches in July, according to comScore (NASDAQ: SCOR).

The Chinese search engine Baidu ranked third in comScore's global analysis, performing 8 billion searches to claim 7 percent of the market.

The competition drops off precipitously from there, with fourth-place Microsoft accounting for less than 3 percent of the market.

While comScore reported a steep increase in the total use of search engines to retrieve information online, not all firms in the sector enjoyed the same level of growth.

Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO), for instance, only saw a 2 percent increase in the number of queries performed on its sites. Google, by contrast, saw its query volume surge by 58 percent over last year, while Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) kept pace with the aggregate increase with 41 percent year-over-year query growth.

Among the top 10, the Russian search engine Yandex enjoyed the biggest uptick over last year, boasting a 94 percent increase in the number of queries performed on its sites.

Of course, the leaderboard in the search market could be headed for a major shakeup if the deal between Microsoft and Yahoo clears the necessary regulatory hurdles. Under that arrangement, Microsoft would integrate and manage the technical infrastructure underpinning the companies' search engines, while Yahoo would handle ad sales.

The proposed marriage came in response to Microsoft's begrudging admission that without a merger among competitors, reports like the one out today showing Google's dramatic lead in the market would keep rolling in.

It's worth noting, however, that comScore recently released a separate analysis of users' search habits, concluding that many people use Google's search engine as a reflex. A joint Microsoft-Yahoo search offering would have to break that habit if it hoped to garner a larger slice of the market than the combination of the two companies' standalone shares, the firm said.