Bing Searches Increase Strongly in January

Microsoft’s Bing search engine still falls behind Google and Yahoo in terms of market share, but it did see some success in January. According to data from Experian Hitwise, Bing saw a 21 percent increase in search volume for the first month of 2011.

Google and Yahoo both saw decreases in market share during January, and it is likely that some of that lost market share was acquired by Bing. Bing’s 21 percent increase represents a jump from December’s 10.6 percent share to January’s 12.81 percent share. During the same time period, search engine leader Google’s share dropped from 69.67 percent to 67.95 percent. Yahoo’s dropped four percent, from 15.17 percent to 14.62 percent. 

January was also a solid month for searches powered by Bing, which increased six percent and represented 27.44 percent of traffic. Some of that success can be attributed to Bing’s powering of Yahoo search results. The practice officially began in August of 2010, after Microsoft and Yahoo created their search partnership approximately one year earlier.

Bing’s increase and Google’s decrease in market share come at an interesting time. Google recently accused Bing of copying its search results. The accusations came after Google ran tests in 2010 comparing results between the two search engines. While the accusations appear to have some merit, Bing has denied them.

Google may be the current champion as far as overall market share is concerned, but when it comes to search engine success rate, Bing and Yahoo lead the way. Search engine success rate refers to how often a search results in users clicking on a link to visit a website. For January, Bing and Yahoo has search engine success rates of 82 and 81 percent, respectively. Google came in third with a 66 percent success rate. 

Although some may consider overall market share to be the most important statistic, search engine success rate is also very important, since it reflects relevancy in search results. If one search engine is known to produce more relevant results, it could help increase its overall power and market share.  According to Hitwise, “The share of unsuccessful searches highlights the opportunity for both the search engines and marketers to evaluate the search engine result pages to ensure that searchers are finding relevant information.”

Besides statistics on individual search engines, Hitwise also ran analysis on search queries. It found that most searches included queries of two words. Those accounted for 23.59 percent of all searches. Shorter queries decreased one percent in January, but longer queries of five to eight words increased five percent.

Experian Hitwise’s latest report revealed statistics on paid clicks as well. Amazon topped January’s list by registering 11.25 percent of all paid clicks. The 11.25 percent was down seven percent from December.  The percentage drop is eased by the fact that Amazon earned the most paid search traffic during the holidays, however. Sam’s Club and Lowe’s also highlighted January’s news regarding paid clicks. Hitwise reported, "Among the top five sites in the Retail 500, Lowe’s experienced the highest month-over-month growth in paid clicks (51 percent), while Sam’s Club had the highest month-over-month increase (62 percent) among the top 20 visited retail sites in January."

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