Though Google remains the most dominant search engine in the U.S., a recent report from Experian Hitwise shows that the market share of Google has dropped in the last 12 months. The shares of other popular search engines like Microsoft and Yahoo have increased during the same period.
According to Hitwise’s market share statistics, Google accounted for 65.02% of all U.S. searches made in the month of May 2012 which is a decrease from 68.11% in the same period in 2011. There is a 5% decline in the percentage change of year-over-year.
On the other hand, Bing-powered searches accounted for 28.12% of all searches conducted in the month of May 2012. The percentage increases up by 1.33% points or a 5% gain year-over-year. Yahoo’s search share was 14.95% and direct Bing searches were at 13.17%. That’s an increase of 3% and 7% of percentage change year-over-year.
In short, there is a 5% year-over-year decline for Google and a 5% gain for Bing-powered search share. Apart from these popular search engines, there are 65 other search engines active in the U.S. But, Hitwise says that they collectively accounted for only 6.86% of all U.S. searches.
The exact reason for the decline of Google’s search share is not clear. But Microsoft encourages its visitors to come back to its site by offering special rewards. It has created special programs like the TangoCard reward program, Bing Rewards etc., that offer credits for gift cards, digital goods, nonprofit donations and a lot more, every time users visit the site.
Hitwise also analyzed the length of search queries on search engines. The analysis, which consisted of searches made by U.S. visitors showed that people make one word searches more often than searches for longer strings. Hitwise estimated that 29.93% of searches were one word long in the month of May 2012 which is an increase from 28.63% in April 2012.
One word searches have increased by 19% year-over-year, while the rest of all searcheswent down. This could possibly be due to the influence of regular usage of social media by users.