May 22, 2006 8:58 AM PDT

Google retains lead in U.S. search market

Google's share of the U.S. Web search market continues to edge beyond Yahoo and Microsoft, according to the latest monthly numbers released by analysis firm ComScore Networks.

The search giant's market share among home, work and university Internet users climbed from 42.7 percent to 43.1 percent from March to April of this year--up from 36.5 percent in April 2005, ComScore said Monday.

In second place, Yahoo saw its market share hold steady at 28 percent between March and April, a decrease of 2.7 percent from last year. Less than 6 percentage points separated Google's and Yahoo's respective market shares in April 2005.

The relative number of search queries through Microsoft's MSN also continued to fall, leaving its market share at 12.9 percent in April of this year, down from 16.1 percent at the same time last year.

Time Warner's America Online search dropped to 6.9 percent from 9 percent in April 2005. InterActiveCorp Search & Media's rebranded Ask.com network also witnessed a slight decline, falling to 5.8 percent from 6.1 percent at the same time last year.

For the first time, the search engine operated by the social networking site MySpace.com appeared in the rankings. The company held a distant 6th place in the market share rankings--grabbing only about half a percent--in April, but ComScore indicated it may be worth keeping an eye on the smaller player "due to the site's remarkable popularity."

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ComScore, market share, Time Warner Inc., Yahoo! Inc., analysis

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