Google's US web searches got close to 50 billion in October 2008, up 8 percent year on year - in a month when all web searches actually dropped by 2 percent (to 78 billion). Major losers in October were troubled Yahoo (down 12 percent) and coy suitor MSN/Windows Live (down 19 percent).

According to Nielsen Online an estimated 4.8 billion search queries were conducted at Google Search, representing 61.2 percent of all search queries conducted during the month.

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Searches at were also massively down , by nearly 23 percent.

The 2 percent drop in web searches was unexpected given the heightened chatter around the recent US elections.