According to the latest data from comScore, Internet users over the age of 15 conducted over 29 million searches per minute in 2009. Overall, the global search market grew 46% in 2009. Unsurprisingly, Google continues to have a commanding lead in this market. Worldwide, Google accounted for 66% of all searches conducted in 2009 by Internet users over 15. Microsoft's search properties, including Bing, commanded only about 3% of the total market, but Microsoft also saw the greatest gain (70%) among the top 5 search properties. In total, comScore estimates that Internet users now conduct close to 131 billion searches per year.

Russian search engine Yandex was the fastest growing property among the top 10 search engine. Yandex registered a 90% gain in 2009. Except for Alibaba.com, every one of the top 10 search engines in comScore's index registered a growth in the total number of searches conducted on their sites.

Worldwide, Internet users conducted over 131 billion searches in 2009. Every day, people over 15 around the world conducted about 3.6 billion searches. That's almost 25 million searches conducted per minute.

According to comScore, Internet users in the U.S. conducted the highest number of searches on the top 10 search engines in 2009. U.S. Internet users over 15 conducted over 22 billion searches last year, followed by China (13 billion) and Japan (9 billion).

Just yesterday, we reported that traffic analyst firm Hitwise's latest data shows that the traffic to social networks in Australia is getting to the point where it will soon surpass traffic to search engines. Judging from these numbers, even if social networks pass search in terms of traffic at some point, search still has a lot of headroom to grow and will continue to do so in the near future.