Google Maintains Internet Search Lead, Followed By Yahoo & MSN

Despite the increased search traffics recorded by MSN and Yahoo in December - Google still maintains lead according to latest statistics recorded by Hitwise. For all of 2008, Google accounted for 69.48% of all U.S. searches. That's up 8% from 2007. A comparison of December 2007 to December 2008 is even more impressive, with Google growing 14% year-over-year. Yahoo accounted for 17.79% of all U.S. searches and MSN took 5.56% of the share, according to figures released by Hitwise Monday. accounted for 3.15% of U.S. searches in December, while 44 other search engines, together, accounted for just 1.42%.

MSN increased its share by 2% in the four weeks ending Dec. 27 compared to the four weeks ending Nov. 29, marking its fifth consecutive month of growth, according to figures from Hitwise. Yahoo grew its share by 1% from November to December, according to a sample of 10 million U.S. Internet users. While grew 1% from 2007 to 2008, according to Hitwise.

Hitwise reported that search engines continue to dominate as key navigation tools Internet users rely on for information in key industry categories, such as business and finance, sports, online video, and social networking. Hitwise found that the share of traffic that search engines drove to those categories increased from December 2007 to December 2008 by double-digit figures.