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Google has opened up a UK front for its automated news service. The world's favourite search engine has the same clustering of news stories, which we like. And it gives more prominence to stories about the UK. Which we probably also like. We trust that Google's sturdy news-grabbing algorithms will continue to yield the occasional eccentricity and company press release.

You can see the results for yourself at http://news.google.co.uk/.

A quick glance on the Alexa site ranking and Google UK pops up at 109, a mere 105 places behind Google.com, so lots of Brits are now going straight to .co.uk. Certainly, referrals to our own site from Google.co.uk are climbing, and are now currently running at around a quarter of .com levels.

Worldwide, Google is the mother of all search engines, commanding a global usage share of 55.2 per cent, according to a Onestat.com survey released today. This is half a point up on the last OneStat.com survey, out two months ago.

And of course, Google technology is even more ubiquitous as it powers many of the searches conducted on Yahoo! and AOL (and the BBC, come to that).

Yahoo!, Google's most important competitor for search business, now has its own search technology, courtesy of the recent Inktomi purchase. And at some point, Google will be replaced. So its share of search algorithms will fall, even as the brand marches from strength to strength.

Here is the OneStat calc of share for the top seven search engines in the last two months:

1. Google 55.2%
2. Yahoo 21.7%
3. MSN Search 9.6%
4. AOL Search 3.8%
5. Terra Lycos 2.6%
6. Altavista 2.2%
7. Askjeeves 1.5%

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