Google continues its dominance of the US search market, a new study has revealed.

Research conducted by market monitoring firm Hitwise revealed that Google possessed more than 65 percent of all American searches during December.

This compares to almost 21 percent for Yahoo!, seven percent for MSN Search and just over four percent for

Hitwise highlighted that search engines remain the „primary“ resource by which users navigate the internet.

It revealed that an increasing number of people use search engines to browse key industry categories, such as shopping, health and news.

„Comparing December 2007 to December 2006, the travel, entertainment, business and finance, and sports categories showed double-digit increases in their share of traffic coming directly from search engines,“ the company stated.

A recent survey of more than 2,000 web users conducted by WebVisible and Nielsen//NetRatings discovered that 73 percent use search engines to hunt for local products and services.

This compares to 65 percent using telephone directories and just 44 percent using local newspapers to find such information.