Google increased its slice of the growing global search pie in just-released search engine market share stats from comScore. In 2007, searches at the five major search engines -- including partner searches and cross-channel searches -- finished with 9.6 billion searches in December, 2007.
The surprise winner? For December 2007, total searches on Google sites increased more than 30 percent year over year, totaling 5.6 billion searches.
Yahoo sites ranked second with 2.2 billion searches. Microsoft sites, third with 940 million searches in December.
Time Warner Network with 442 million searches finsihed neck-and-neck with Ask Network, at 415 million total searches - but lost ground: down 4 percent from this time last year.
Microsoft sites gained 8 percent year-over-year, with Ask (415 million) posting a 5 percent gain on a small base of 396 million searches last December.
AOL (part of the O&O Time Warner network) didn't fare much better than Yahoo, posting a 4 percent decrease in total search volume.
It's important to note that searches conducted on mapping sites, local directory sites, and video sites (read YouTube) are not counted in the core search statistics.
On the Yahoo earnings call, Yahoo President Sue Decker complained about the accuracy of the comScore numbers. Unlikely Eric Schmidt will do the same.
Yahoo's new strategy won't be measured by standard third-party metrics (Web Analytics 1.0) such as page views, reflecting the new dynamics of distributed traffic on the Internet.
"Third-party services such as comScore (that) assess unique users or time spent (on site) may not tell the story of what's happening (in aggregate)," said Decker. "Our internal logs show that metrics we've discussed with (analysts) in the past, such as uniques and page views, continue to grow in the double-digits in Q4, with unique users now topping 500 million and page views about 4 billion per day."