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Google loses ground in search battle, AOL continues to freefall

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Google lost one per cent of its share of the US search market last month.

Its the first time Google has slipped in almost a year, after 11 consecutive months of gains. According to market research firm comScore, 43.7 per cent of Americans' 6.7bn searches went through Google this July, up from 36.5 percent a year ago.

TimeWarner, in the rickety shape of AOL, has dropped four per cent in the last 12 months and 0.3 per cent in July. It's now scrapping for a measly 5.9 per cent of the market.

Yahoo! enjoyed a small month-on-month rise in its slice of the pie, at 28.8 per cent, comfortably taking second place ahead of MSN. Yahoo! had a 30.5 per cent share in July 2005.

Yahoo's challenge to Google was strongest via toolbar searching, with 46.2 per cent to Google's 50.3 per cent.

The multicoloured search leviathan announced that accounts for its web word processor acquisition Writely are now available to everyone, after it migrated the service to its own servers. They had been invitation-only.

Writely is still in beta and has its own original interface, which is inconsistent with Google's spreadsheet service. It's not integrated with Gmail accounts yet either, but the firm says it will be soon, and is encouraging users to get one. ®

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