According to Hitwise Bing searches increased 5% in December in the USA and, while Google continues to dominate with 72.3% of all U.S. searches executed, Yahoo! Search and Bing shares were at 14.8% and 8.9% respectively.
Small changes in length of search query were also reported, with 'Long Tail' queries dropping 4%. Apparently shorter search queries averaging one to four words long increased 1% from November 2010 to December 2010. Two word searches comprised the majority of searches at 24.26%. Longer search queries of five to eight words were also down 4% from November 2010 to December 2010.
The figures from ComScore are a bit different. They say:
- Google’s share reached 65.7%, up from 65.6% in November and 63.5% a year ago.
- Bing’s share rose to 10.7%, up from 10.3% in November and 8.3% a year ago.
- Yahoo’s share fell to 17.3%, down from 17.5% in November and 20.5% a year ago.
And finally, Neilsen says:
|Top Search Providers for December 2009, Ranked by Searches (U.S.)|
|Rank||Provider||Searches (000)||Share of Searches|
|3||MSN/Windows Live/Bing Search||986,247||9.9%|
|Source: The Nielsen Company|
However, more interesting is the report from Hitwise of the positive movement in Bing's success rate measured as the percentage of executed searches that result in a visit to a site other than a main search domain.
In 2009, Bing had a success rate was well below the competition at about 70%. That has steadily increased to over 75%. There is a health warning: search success rate is often influenced by the complexity of the search. Traditionally, portal search engines tend to have more simple navigational and brand related queries in their top searches which are generally easier to resolve then searches for information.
When examining the top 100 search terms from Google, Yahoo! Search and Bing, Hitwise found that nearly all terms are brand and/or navigational in nature for each engine. When you look at the percentage of searches that these top 100 terms account for on each engine, you find that Google is at 9.5%, Yahoo! Search is 15.1% and Bing is at 16.5%.
This last number is interesting. Does it mean that Google is concentrating on volume whilst Bing (as it has to) is concentrating more on $ value?
In 2009 search-advertising network Chitika, did some research that indicated that visitors who arrive at sites from organic search results on Bing are 55% more likely to click on an ad than if they arrived from Google.
Chitika looked at the clickthrough rates from 32 million ad impressions across its network of more than 50,000 sites in a week in July. Visitors from Bing clicked on an ad 1.5 percent of the time on average, versus a 0.97 percent clickthrough rate for Google visitors and a 1.24 percent clickthrough rate for Yahoo.
It was also suggested by Techcrunch that because Google represents the vast bulk of the traffic there is a law of large numbers at work. (The law of large numbers states that if you repeat a random experiment, such as tossing a coin or rolling a die, many, many, many times, your outcomes should on average be equal to the theoretical average.) They suggested therefore that the more traffic that comes from any one source, the lower the clickthrough rate is likely to be and that if market share was reversed, Bing would undoubtedly have a lower clickthrough rate.
But is this true? By their nature search engines make money from advertising and if Bing appeals more to the larger brands (which are more likely to be searched?) and that are (probably? possibly?) more likely to spend more and perhaps at a higher $ value per click.... and has realised this and has a higher click through rate AND higher success rate in oganic results, then brands are more likely to choose Bing. A lot of ifs and buts. But (there's another one) Google has admitted to keeping an eye on Bing.
Maybe we should all be less cynical, especially about Bing's business model?
Post written by Richard Hill