Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Bing search engine gained slight ground against competitors, including the still-leading Google Inc. (GOOG), in the race for the most popular U.S. search engine, according to sector researcher ComScore Inc. (SCOR).
Google's search engine still dominated the U.S. with 65.4% of the explicit core search market, a 0.2 percentage-point decrease from October. Yahoo Inc. (YHOO) sites followed with 15.1%, down 0.1 point from a month ago. Microsoft's sites posted a 0.2-point gain. IAC/InterActiveCorp.'s (IACI) Ask.com was steady at 2.9%, and AOL Inc.'s (AOL) share grew by 0.1 point to 1.6%.
Americans conducted about 17.8 billion core search queries in November, down from 18.08 billion in October. Google again ranked first, with 11.7 billion searches, followed by Yahoo and Microsoft sites with about 2.7 billion apiece.
ComScore has shifted how it reports its data after Yahoo's "contextual searches" skewed earlier results. The group measures U.S. explicit core searches, which exclude contextual searches that don't reflect any intent by users.
-By Drew FitzGerald, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2909; Andrew.FitzGerald@dowjones.com