According to a study released on Thursday, the number of internet users engaging in local search queries continues to grow.

According to the study conducted by comScore Networks, 63 percent of U.S. Internet users, or 109 million people, performed a local search online in July representing a 43-percent increase versus July of 2005.

Local search is experiencing strong growth as more consumers adapt to the 'always on' nature of their broadband connection, which enables them to quickly find information on local businesses, said Jack Flanagan, executive vice president of comScore Media Metrix. With approximately 849 million local searches conducted by Americans in July, local advertisers have a sizable market that can be reached through leading search sites.

Google leads other search engines, garnering nearly 29.8 percent of all the local search queries, while Yahoo follows closely with 29.2 percent. Microsoft Sites captured 12 percent of local searches, followed by the Time Warner Network with 7 percent.

Local search is defined as searches conducted by consumers on the local or directory sections of leading search sites, and other searches identified as having local intent.