Microsoft Corp. gained a larger portion of the U.S. Internet search market in February, while rival Yahoo Inc.'s share remained flat and market leader Google Inc. lost a marginal amount of market share, according to data published Wednesday by Experian Hitwise. Microsoft, which unveiled a new search engine last year, gained 4% from the prior month to reach a 9.7% share, according to the data. Meanwhile Yahoo's share remained at 14.57%, and Google's share dipped 1% to 70.95%. Microsoft and Yahoo have a partnership in place that will have Microsoft handling the technology behind Yahoo's search service, in a revenue-sharing arrangement.
Longer search queries, averaging searches of five to more than eight words in length, were up 5 percent between December 2009 and January 2010. Searches of eight or more words increased 6 percent. The same time period showed that shorter search queries - those averaging one to four words long - were down 1 percent from month to month. Searches of one word comprised the majority of searches, amounting to 23.67 percent of all queries.