Google recorded another lead in last weeks Hitwise search market share report, but according to Danny Sullivan it is the Microsoft figures that prove the most interesting read.

Speaking to Daron Babin on Thursday’s Daily Searchcast, the Search Engine Land editor said that although Google, Yahoo! and even Ask.com were putting in solid month on month performances it was clear that there were problems at Microsoft.

He added that in part this could be down to the multiple figures that Hitwise produce for those in the industry which display two sets of results for Microsoft and the subsequent consumer confusion over what is the main site for the company’s search engine.

Mr Sullivan argues that simplifying the name of the Microsoft’s main search site – he recommends Live.com – would lead the online community to relate Live to the company and establish a flagship title for what is otherwise known as MSN, MSN Search, and Microsoft Search.

He added that when the company refer to their search facility they are talking about Live and that this needs to be clarified with users. With increased clarity over where customers can head to make use of the Microsoft search engine, he suggests, the company could be recording improved figures.

Unfortunately he adds people will continue to use MSN as the reality is the majority of searches the firm records come from MSN.

The figures themselves showed that Google took a 63.98 per cent share of all searches in the US for August with Yahoo! taking the usual second place with 22.89 per cent.

Despite spending what Mr Sullivan referred to as "a tonne" of money on television advertising, Ask.com recorded 3.37 per cent of the market share – an increase of only 0.16 per cent on July and a decrease of 0.12 per cent last year.

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