Google’s share of the U.S. search market climbed to its highest point in more than a year in January, surpassing 66 percent and extending the company’s lead over Microsoft and Yahoo, according to numbers released this afternoon by comScore Networks.
The increase came despite a negative reaction from some corners of the technology world to Google’s “Search Plus Your World” initiative, which added data from social networks to search results, focusing heavily on its own Google+ social network. Critics of the changes said they diminished the quality of Google’s search results.
Also during the month, Google announced plans to unify its privacy policies and collect data about users across its various online properties, prompting some users to say they were considering canceling their Google accounts.
Nonetheless, Google rose 0.3 percentage points to 66.2 percent of the U.S. market in January, according to the comScore statistics.
Microsoft’s Bing search engine, which had previously passed its partner Yahoo in market share, rose by 0.1 points to 15.2 percent in January, and Yahoo fell 0.4 points to 14.1 percent. Combined, Microsoft and Yahoo saw their market share fall to 29.3 percent, down 0.3 points.