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Google's market share dips ever so slightly

Its share of the U.S. search engine market continues a mild downward trend in August, according to ComScore, but the search giant remains firmly on top with 65 percent of the market.

Google's dominance of the U.S. search engine landscape remains uncontested, though the leader has been shedding a smidgen of market share lately, according to ComScore.

For the month of August, Google's share dipped slightly to 65.4 percent from 65.8 percent in July, reported ComScore yesterday. The latest figure continued the company's downward trend from 66.2 percent in June.

Moving into more positive territory, Yahoo's share inched up 0.3 percentage points to 17.4, while Microsoft eked out a 0.1 percentage point gain to grab 11.1 percent of the market.


The numbers tallied by ComScore include all of a company's search properties. So Google's results cover searches at YouTube and Google News along with its core Web site. Those figures also specifically look at "explicit core search," which is defined as "user engagement with a search service with the intent to retrieve search results." That means it's tracking people who specifically enter a search term on a Web page.

ComScore recently revamped its search market methods to counteract efforts by Microsoft and Yahoo to stack the deck by treating slideshows and photo galleries as searchable items.

Looking at the hard numbers, Web users ran almost 15.7 billion explicit core searches in August. Out of those, Google led the pack, of course, with 10.3 billion searches, essentially flat compared with July's numbers. Yahoo claimed second place with 2.7 billion searches, a gain of 3 percent from July, while Microsoft came in third with 1.7 billion searches, up 2 percent from July.

In an effort to stay fresh and innovative, Google earlier this month enhanced its core Web site with Instant Search, which displays suggested searches as soon as people start typing their query. ComScore said that its September results won't be disrupted by Google's Instant Search but that the new feature will be addressed in its search data collection methods.

Recent numbers collected by Nielsen also peg Google with a 65 percent share of the market. But they show Microsoft/Bing in second place with a 13.9 percent share, followed by Yahoo with 13.1 percent. Nielsen also reports that over the past year, Yahoo has lost about 2.9 percentage points in its share, while Microsoft has picked up 3.2 percentage points. Like ComScore, Nielsen limits its data to reflect only queries entered into a search box.