Statistics released by web monitoring firm Hitwise reveal that Google accounted for 78 per cent of all UK searches in the four weeks to 21 October, a nine per cent increase over the previous year. Yahoo took second place with just 7.7 per cent.
Search engines pushed significant traffic to e-commerce sites in categories such as Travel, Appliances & Electronics and Insurance, according to Hitwise.
Sites classified by Hitwise as Travel Agencies received 39 per cent of upstream visits from search engines in the week ending 21 October, up seven per cent in the past six months.
The Appliances & Electronics category received 36 per cent of upstream visits from search engines, up nine per cent in the past six months.
The Business & Finance - Insurance category received 35 per cent of upstream visits from search engines, representing a 14 per cent increase over the past six months.
"Consumers are increasingly using search engines to navigate the web, increasing the importance of search engines as a source of referrals for retailers," said Heather Hopkins, vice president of research at Hitwise UK.
"Google and Yahoo in particular are seeing strong growth in their share of the UK search market and their share of referrals to online retailers.
"Growth for these search engines seems to be organic, driven in part by toolbar usage but also by growing familiarity with the Google and Yahoo brands. "
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