MSN Taking the Brunt of Google's US Search Blitz

Google continued to grab U.S. Internet search market share at a record pace in July, with Microsoft's MSN search engine the biggest loser over the past year and a half, according to data from Hitwise.

Google accounted for 70.77 percent of all online search engine queries in the U.S. for the four weeks ending July 26, Hitwise said Tuesday. The figure is Google's tenth consecutive record high in monthly search share, and shows strong improvement over the 64.35 percent share it took in July of last year and 63.06 percent in January 2007.

Microsoft's MSN search, by contrast, has taken the worst hit over the past nineteen months. MSN accounted for just 5.36 percent of all U.S. Internet search in July, down from 8.79 percent in the same month last year and nearly half the 10.35 percent share MSN held in January, 2007.

The decline in U.S. search share may be one reason Microsoft was so keen to acquire Yahoo's search technology.

MSN has seen a steady decline since February, around the same time Microsoft announced its US$44.6 billion bid to acquire Yahoo. The world's largest software maker abandoned its original offer.

Yahoo's search engine fared a bit better than MSN's, but Hitwise research also shows a precipitous decline for Yahoo. The company's search engine took an 18.65 percent share of U.S. Internet queries in July, down from 22.13 percent a year ago. Yahoo held a 21.40 percent share of U.S. search in January, 2007.

Ask.com was the only other search engine Hitwise broke out figures for. The Web site accounted for 3.53 percent of U.S. Internet searches in July, up from 3.21 percent last year.

The remaining 47 search engines Hitwise tracks accounted for 1.69 percent of U.S. searches, the researcher said.

U.S. Internet search market share of top three players in terms of percent

Domain www.google.com search.yahoo.com search.msn.com

July 2008 70.77 18.65 5.36

June 69.17 19.62 5.46

May 68.29 19.95 5.89

April 67.90 20.28 6.26

March 67.25 20.29 6.65

February 66.44 20.59 6.95

January 65.98 20.94 6.90

December 2007 65.98 20.88 7.04

November 65.10 21.21 7.09

October 64.49 21.65 7.42

September 63.55 22.55 7.83

August 63.98 22.87 7.98

July 64.35 22.13 8.79

June 63.92 21.31 9.85

May 65.13 20.89 8.40

April 65.26 20.73 8.46

March 64.13 21.26 9.15

February 63.90 21.47 9.30

January 2007 63.06 21.40 10.35

Source: Hitwise

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