Hitwise released its July 2010 search rankings today, revealing that Google has held steady in overall search share and gained ground in most verticals.

Brafton reported yesterday comScore's July 2010 search engine rankings indicated Google was losing market share, and the search giant's loss was Yahoo's gain. It seems Hitwise's data tells a different search story. Hitwise released its July 2010 search rankings today, revealing that Google has held steady in overall search share and gained ground in most verticals.

The data shows that Google accounted for 71.43 percent of U.S. searches last month, showing 0 percent difference from June 2010. Meanwhile, Hitwise says yahoo.com culled 14.43 percent of queries in July, demonstrating no change from June. ComScore reported that Yahoo gained ground in July.

In fact, Hitwise indicates July was not a good month for Yahoo. The search engine showed slight declines in all verticals in July compared to June and lost 18 percent of health search share and 11 percent of travel search share compared to July 2009.

Google, on the other hand, proved to be the greatest source of traffic for key U.S. industries. The search giant represented 23.42 percent of automotive searches (a 7-percent gain over last July), 20.22 percent of shopping searches (a 7-percent annual gain) and 30.41 percent of travel searches (a 6-percent gain over last year). Notably, the gains in travel searches may be linked to Google's proposed acquisition of travel software company ITA, which Brafton covered in July.

Bing had the smallest share of vertical searches, but had the most significant annual increases in July 2010. It demonstrated year-over-year gains of 77 percent in the automotive industry, 33 percent in the health industry, 84 percent in the shopping industry and 69 percent in the travel industry – though it accounted for less than 3 percent of each of these industries' searches.

Ask.com also showed significant gains in July 2010. The community-based search engine increased in market share by 6 percent, accounting for 2.32 percent of searches last month. While it still has a long way to go, even to catch up to search third-runner Bing, its quick ascent indicates users like social search features, which we reported that Ask had rolled out last month. This may bode well for other social search sites, including Facebook Questions.

It seems marketers are gearing up to advertise on these Q&A social platforms. An eMarketer report suggests Facebook will receive more than $1.04 billion in ad spend in 2011.  

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.