Bad news for Bing and Yahoo: Google's share of the U.S. search market grew 1.4 percent in November. According to researcher Hitwise, that brings Google a 71.6 percent share overall and also sees declines in search market share for both Yahoo and Microsoft.
That's the word from Web traffic researcher Hitwise, whose report on November search traffic in the U.S. suggests neither Microsoft and Bing nor Yahoo has posed any kind of recent threat to Google's search dominance.
In a report released Wednesday, Hitwise has Google on top and Yahoo and Bing in distant second and third places, respectively. Whereas Yahoo commanded a 16.1 percent search share for October, but declined to 15.4 percent in November. Microsoft and Bing had a smaller decline -- 9.6 percent in October to 9.3 percent in November -- but a decline nonetheless.
Hitwise's data did have one bright spot for Bing: the search engine's share of traffic in vertical-specific categories like automotive, business and finance, entertainment and sports saw double digit increases, month-to-month. Microsoft has been touting Bing as a smarter search engine that can customize search based on particular topics, so growth by particular search segments has to be an encouraging sign.
Additional data released by Hitwise suggested that the frequency of longer search queries -- those of five to eight words in length -- was steady month-to-month. Searches of eight or more words increased by 1 percent, Hitwise said, and shorter queries of one to four words were also flat. One-word searches still constitute the largest number of searches, about 24 percent overall.
Google has gone to some length in expanding the breadth and depth of its search capabilities to stay well ahead of competitive threats. Just this week, Google introduced Real-Time Search, Google Goggles and other features that allow users to customize their searches based on time and location, and also have better search options from mobile devices.