Google still dominates the search market in in the U.S., while Bing, Yahoo and Ask lost a small slice of the market in December. According to the latest data from Hitwise, Google's market share continues to hover around 72%. Yahoo now owns 14.83% of the search market and Bing accounted for 8.92% of all U.S. searches. Hitwise also looked at the success rates for the top search engines. Hitwise defines this as "the percentage of executed searches that result in a visit to a site other than a main search domain." Here, Bing used to trail Yahoo and Google by a significant margin, but is now on par with Google.

Bing's Success Rate

Bing's success rate is now over 75%, while Yahoo Search still leads among the top search engines with a 79% success rate. As Hitwise's Bill Tancer points out, though, it is important to note that portal search engines generally see simpler queries and more of these queries are navigational or brand queries. Inevitably, these searches tend to have a higher success rate, and while only 9% of the top 100 search terms on Google are brand or navigational searches, these types of searches account for 15.1% of all searches on Yahoo Search and 16.5% of all searches on Bing.

Maybe Measuring Success Rate Isn't the Right Metric for Bing?

It is important to remember that Microsoft's strategy with Bing, however, is to give users more info on the site so that searchers don't even have to leave Bing.com. Because of this, the Bing team probably wants to keep the success rate rather low. It would be interesting to see how many of the searches on Bing that Hitwise would qualify as unsuccessful were actually due to the fact that the user got the answer to a query right on the site.