A report from iResearch Consulting Group indicates that the Chinese search engine market grew 38.5 percent to $1.06 billion in 2009, says Investors.com.

China ranked first in worldwide webpage searches, with 203.38 billion last year, up 35.7 percent from 2008. Since 2007, the country has been the leader in web searches, accounting for 20.6 percent in 2009.

Baidu continues to be China’s leading search engine, and together with Google, took up 96.2 percent of the search engine market’s operating revenues last year. Baidu and Google also led wireless searches, together accounting for 50.2 percent, with competitors Easou.com, Yicha.cn, 3GYY, Soso.com, and Wukong.com taking up the rest. In 2009, 33.6 percent of Chinese online advertising budgets were spent on search engines.

iResearch predicts that the Chinese search engine market will grow another 45 percent in 2010.

In the United States, the search engine market seems to be leveling off, with growth up only marginally in March. Google remains the most popular search engine, making it the primary target for search engine optimization (SEO), though it lost a point of market share in March.