According to the latest data from analytics firm Hitwise, Ask managed to grow an astonishing 21% last month (from 2.84% to 3.44%), while Microsoft’s Bing actually lost 1%. After a long period of slow but steady decline, the total number of U.S. searches on Yahoo grew about 3% last month, while Google lost about 1% and fell under 70%. Alternative search engines only accounted for 1.93% of all U.S. searches.


Even though Bing lost some ground in the overall search market, it did quite well in the verticals it already specializes in. Year-over-Year, the percentage of upstream traffic from Bing to automotive, health, shopping and travel sites grew more than 100%. Month-to-month, Bing also saw double-digit growth according to Hitwise.

Google, of course, remains the most important source of traffic for these verticals and it’s worth noting that even though Bing’s important is growing, it only delivers between 2 and 4% of the upstream traffic for these key industries. To some degree, though, Bing isn’t really interested in delivering this traffic to outside sources and would rather serve its customers by giving them answers right on its own site.