SANTIAGO: The Latin American search market has enjoyed rapid growth over the past year, according to a new report.

In the year to March 2011, the number of online searches conducted in the region rose from 15.3bn to 18.5bn - a 21% increase.

This total included a 34% rise in searches in Brazil, Latin America's largest search market.

Meanwhile, the search sector in Mexico, Latin America's second-largest market, grew 23% while Argentina's was up 21%. Chile, the continent's most mature broadband market, grew 7%.

Improved network infrastructure is a major factor behind the growth of web searches.

The overall number of Latin American searchers rose 14% over the year, while the average number of searches per user was up 6%.

Google was found to be exceptionally dominant across the region, accounting for around 154 of the 167 searches the typical user conducted in March 2011.

This 90% market share far exceeds that of other markets. For example, according to comScore data Google powers roughly two-thirds of searches in the US, the world's largest search market.

In Latin America, Google's dominance was strongest in Colombia with a 92.2% share, while its share was lowest in Argentina on 89.4%.

Facebook was the region's second most-popular search site, accounting for 2.8% of searches.

Data sourced from comScore; additional content by Warc staff