More than 113 billion searches were conducted in July this year, marking a 41 percent increase from July 2008, according to the latest global search statistics from market researcher comScore.
Despite the emergence of Microsoft's Bing as a search engine challenger, Google continued to pace the market, landing 76.7 billion searches, good for a market share of 67.5 percent.
Yahoo retained its No. 2 ranking and boasted the greatest global search share growth of 58 percent, with a 7.8 percent global share on 8.9 billion searches. Chinese search engine Baidu followed Yahoo with 8 billion searches.
Microsoft significantly trailed Baidu, but its 3.3 billion queries were up 41 percent from July 2008, 11 months before the arrival of Bing, which has been well received. Bing now garners an 8.9 percent share in the United States, gaining fractions of percentage points each month since its launch in June almost three months ago.
Microsoft expects to gain even more queries should it consummate its plan with Yahoo to become the back-end engine for Yahoo search. That arrangement will be closely watched if it passes regulatory scrutiny. ComScore analyst Eli Goodman said earlier this month Bing needs to lure more infrequent searchers from Google to become power users on Bing.
In other comScore stats, social network Facebook rounded out the list with 879 million searches, up 18 percent from the prior period.
Facebook's inclusion in the global search list underscores just how much the company has scaled on the Web. It's got 250 million-plus users connecting with friends, and close to one billion queries coming in. How will it mine that traffic for a profit?
Europe accounted for the highest share of searches at 32.1 percent, followed by Asia Pacific at 30.8 percent and North America at 22.1 percent. Europe boasted the second highest overall search volume per person, with 117 searches per searcher; North America exhibited the second heaviest frequency, with 12.5 search usage days per searcher.
The bump in global search queries from 2008 reinforces comments made by Google CEO Eric Schmidt on financial earnings calls. For the past year since the economic tailspin whacked first the East Coast and then the rest of the world, Schmidt has been assuring financial analysts that consumers conduct more Web searches during a recession to shop for bargains.
For the complete results, see the comScore tables on Google Watch here.