Study: Google extends search lead over rivals

March figures from ComScore show that Google rose to a new lead in search market share while Yahoo and Microsoft declined.

Google gained market share in the United States over search rivals in March, rising 0.53 percentage points to an all-time high of 59.8 percent, according to new ComScore results released Tuesday.

"We were somewhat surprised at the March uptick, especially since the company had previously alluded that the unusual Easter timing could impact search activity," said Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney in a report Tuesday that quoted the ComScore numbers.

Yahoo, meanwhile, slipped 0.3 percentage points to 21.3 percent, and Microsoft dropped 0.2 percentage points to 9.4 percent--both figures are record lows for the companies, Mahaney said.

Lower in the rankings, AOL dropped 0.1 percentage points to 4.8 percent, while Ask.com rose 0.1 percentage points to 4.7 percent for March, according to the report.

The number of searches increased 18 percent compared to March 2007. Google's tally rose 18.4 percent, Yahoo dropped 1.8 percent, and Microsoft increased 9.4 percent.

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