Microsoft Live Search gaining on Google and Yahoo

Microsoft has made huge gains with its Live Search, posting year-on-year growth of more than 77 per cent for the 12 months to the end of June 2007 in the US.

Google remained at the top with yearly growth of 46.3 per cent and close to four billion searches, followed by Yahoo in second spot, with annual growth of 20.3 per cent and 1.49 billion searches.

However, it was Microsoft that really shone, racking up 0.98 billion searches and managing to increase its share by almost five percentage points from 8.4 per cent in May to 13.3 per cent in June.

Microsoft, which is in intense competition with Google and Yahoo over their respective internet advertising programs, was boosted by the launch of its Vista operating system, which makes it easier for people to use Live Search.

This has been a bone of contention for Google, with the company accusing Microsoft of unfair practices.

Google managed a healthy 46 per cent increase in year-on-year growth, but its share of searches was down by 3.6 per cent from May to June, signifying that its reign as the undisputable search king may not last forever.

Yahoo posted 20 per cent year-on-year growth but its share of searches was down by 1.8 per cent to 20.2 per cent. AOL search figures were up by 8.8 per cent, while Ask.com increased by 21.2 per cent.