December's supposed to be a month of miracles, and - at least in terms of gaining market share - Google seems to have pulled off a minor one. New Nielsen stats show that the search giant increased the distance between itself and competitors by a considerable amount.
Nielsen put Google's share of the U.S. search market in November at 65.4 percent. That number increased to 67.3 percent for December, which works out to a gain of 1.9 percent. Swings like that aren't without precedent, but tend not to happen on a month-to-month basis.
Yahoo, meanwhile, lost share. Its numbers slipped from 15.3 percent to 14.4 percent between November and December. And Bing suffered a similar fate, with Nielsen recording a drop from 15.3 percent to 14.4 percent.
So it looks like it's time to once again ask: how high and low can Google and its competitors' market shares go, respectively? And is there a point at which Google's gains will work against it? Opinion pieces about the "Microsoft of search" tend not to be complimentary, after all, and antitrust regulators are already growing uneasy.
As always, we'll check back in on the situation next month.