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12/11/2007
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Google Accounts For More Than 65% Of U.S. Searches

Health and medical had the highest share of traffic from search engines at 44.64%, while business and finance had the least at 17.04%, according to the latest Hitwise survey.

Google accounted for more than six of 10 online searches in the United States in November, more than triple the amount of its closest rival Yahoo, a Web metrics firm said Tuesday.

Google's share of the market rose to 65.1% from 61.84% in the same month a year ago, Hitwise said. In October, Google had a 64.49% share.

Yahoo Search was a distant second last month with 21.21% of searches, followed by Microsoft's MSN Search, 7.09%; and Ask.com, 4.63%. The remaining 46 search engines in the Hitwise rankings accounted for 1.96% of searches.

Yahoo, Microsoft and Ask.com dipped in market share from October, according to Hitwise. Compared to a year ago, Yahoo was down 1.22%, and Microsoft 2.73%. Ask.com's share increased 0.4 %.

Search engines continued to be the primary way Internet users navigated to sites within key categories. Travel, entertainment and business and finance showed double digit increases in their share of traffic coming directly from search engines.

Health and medical had the highest share of traffic from search engines at 44.64%, while business and finance had the least at 17.04%.

Google's core search business is remarkably profitable. In a recent report, financial analyst Henry Blodget found that Google's core business of advertising linked to search probably had better than 75% operating margins in the third quarter, a level that only its rival Microsoft could ever hope to match.

Google also booked free cash flow of $1.1 billion, more than any other media company. In addition, the company has grown to a $16 billion global business that is still growing at 50% per year, according to Blodget.

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