When it comes to searching on the Internet, Microsoft sites inched ahead of Yahoo sites for market share, according to the comScore qSearch analysis for January 2012. The percentages have changed a tiny amount, as the lack of noticeable difference in the charts below indicates, but the shift in ranking is another marker on Yahoo’s downward trajectory.

Microsoft’s share grew to 15.2 percent, up 0.1 percent when compared to December 2011. Yahoo, meanwhile, lost 0.4 percent in the same comparison, creeping down to 14.1 percent.

Google and Google sites remain the most popular option for search by a huge margin, accounting for 66.2 percent market share, up 0.3 percentage points from December 2011.

At the other end of market share, Ask Network now has 3 percent (up 0.1) while AOL is unchanged at 1.6 percent.

Americans conducted nearly 20 billion total core search queries in January. Google Sites ranked first with 13.2 billion searches, followed by Yahoo Sites with 3.2 billion and Microsoft Sites with 2.8 billion. “Total core search” is the term comScore uses for the five major search engines, including partner searches, cross-channel searches and contextual searches. Searches for mapping, local directory, and user-generated video sites that are not on the core domain of the five search engines are not included in these numbers.

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