Not much of a surprise, but Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) was again the leader in the U.S. search market in September by a wide margin, according to comScore's latest monthly analysis of the U.S. search marketplace.

Google sites had a 66.7% market share in September, followed by Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) sites with 15.9% and Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) sites with 12.2%. The market share of Google ticked up 0.3% from August, that of Microsoft remained unchanged and Yahoo!'s slipped 0.6%.

Explicit core searches, which exclude contextually driven searches that do not reflect specific user intent to interact with the search results, fell 4% in September to 16.3 billion. Google sites saw 10.9 billion of those searches, which was also down 4%. Searches of Microsoft sites declined 4% to nearly 2.6 billion searches, followed by Yahoo! sites down 9% to 1.9 billion searches.

Ask Network and AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) were a distant fourth and fifth, respectively, in both market share and number of explicit core searches.

comScore's monthly survey of the search marketplace captures the search behavior at almost 200 search properties in 41 individual countries and worldwide, measuring the full breadth and depth of consumer search activity.

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