Google’s share of searches breached the 70 percent barrier in terms of all US searches carried out in July, it has been reported.

Heather Dougherty, director of research at web resource Hitwise makes her assertions in the firm’s blog, noting that Google accounted for 70.77 percent of all searches in the country in the four weeks ending July 26th, 2008.

This reflects a rise of two percent over the previous month and ten per cent in comparison to the same period in 2007.

Google was followed in the rankings by Yahoo! Search (18.65 percent), MSN Search – including Live Search – (5.36 percent) and Ask (3.53 percent).

Ms Dougherty suggests that at least some of the growth in searches can be attributed to the increasing share of visits to Google.

"Looking back over the past 13 months, in addition to the growing share of searches, traffic to Google has continued to increase.

"The market share of visits to Google in July increased 25 per cent over July 2007 and has grown each month since January in 2008," she concludes.

In recent days, the search giant made an apology to users after its Gmail service went down for several hours, locking people out of their accounts.