Google increases lead over Yahoo in search

Google increased its lead in search engine usage in the U.S. over Yahoo in November.

Google pulled away from Yahoo in search engine usage during November in a major way, according to comScore Networks.

Google nabbed almost 40 percent of all searches in the U.S., a commanding lead of more than 10 percentage points over Yahoo, which took second place, comScore said on Friday.

Google increased its share of searches by 5.2 percent compared with November 2004, while Yahoo saw its share shrink by 2.5 percent, the market researcher said.

Overall, U.S. residents conducted 5.15 billion searches in November, up 9 percent. Google's search sites processed 2.05 billion of those searches, or 39.8 percent, followed by Yahoo sites with 1.52 billion, or 29.5 percent.

The story in November 2004 had been much different, with Google holding a much smaller lead over Yahoo. Back then, Google had a share of 34.6 percent to Yahoo's 32 percent.

Search engine usage is the motor behind the largest type of online advertising, paid search, in which ads are delivered along with search results. Most of Google's revenue is generated by paid search advertising. Yahoo and Microsoft have invested heavily on search technology in recent years to capitalize on the robust growth in paid search advertising.

Microsoft held on to third place but its also slipped and its share fell from 16 percent to 14.2 percent. Time Warner, which includes America Online, came in fourth place with 8.7 percent, down from 9.1 percent. Finally, Ask Jeeves, which is owned by InterActiveCorp., took the fifth spot and increased its share by 1 percentage point to 6.5 percent, according to comScore.

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