by David A. Utter
Carve out another notch in Google's gunbelt of months it has led the US search market; meanwhile, quite a few of those searches have led people to Wikipedia.
By the numbers, the comScore report on US search share for January looks a lot like it has the previous 12 months. Google's on top, holding 47.5 percent of the market. Yahoo is in second and running backwards with 28.1 percent, while Microsoft held on to third with 10.6 percent.
Google's share amounted to 3.3 billion queries performed by US searchers. That's out of 6.9 billion comScore reported. It's not only a small increase from December 2006 (up 2 percent), but a big jump from the prior January (26 percent up).
The numbers show more of a reliance on search by Internet users. We've noted in previous articles that people use search engines like an address bar as they query for sites like Google and Yahoo, sometimes from within that site's search engine.
As February prepares to move on, Hitwise said the hot search topic for much of the month has been global warming. Searches for that hit an all-time high in February, and a lot of those queries sent people along to Wikipedia.
"Search term data can provide invaluable insight into societal concerns," said Bill Tancer, general manager of global research at Hitwise.
"When you examine the actual search terms and the end destination of those search missions you can also discover intent behind those searches, in this case with Wikipedia being the most common site visited after searches on 'global warming' tells us that searchers are curious to learn more about the topic."