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Google accounted for 55 per cent of all search queries carried out in the US in the month of April, according to Nielsen/NetRatings data released Tuesday.

Nearly 3.8 billion Google searches were carried out in the period, a 42 per cent increase on last year's results.

Main rival Yahoo! Search came in a distant second with just under 1.5 billion searches carried out. Together, Google and Yahoo! accounted for over three quarters of all searches carried out in the US in April.

Meanwhile, Microsoft's MSN/Windows Live Search service came in a far-away third, with nine per cent of the market or 612 million searches, representing a drop in market share since March, the first such drop in the past several months. Microsoft executives indicated back in January that they were not satisfied with the performance of the company's search service.

In a bid to push its dominance of the online search market even further, Google announced earlier this month that it would be integrating all of its various search services so that a single search query will now generate results from a variety of previously separate sources such as videos, images, news stories, maps, books, and websites. The move looks set to drive more traffic to the Google News aggregation service and Google-owned YouTube, further reinforcing Google's status as an online media gatekeeper.

"The ultimate goal of universal search is to break down the silos of information that exist on the web and provide the very best answer every time a user enters a query," commented Google's vice president of search products and user experience Marissa Mayer at the time.

Google also recently revamped its personalised homepage service, now renamed iGoogle. The relaunch though was marred by the loss of some users' personal information such as contact lists and diary dates.

Copyright © 2007, ENN

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