Hitwise, the online competitive intelligence research company, reports that Bing grew by 25% in June of this year. That still leaves Bing with only 5.25 percent of the search volume. With the acquisition of Yahoo!s search business into the Microsoft family, that gives the Bing-Yahoo! group 21.44 percent of the search market, almost competitive against Google’s 74.04 percent.
Another interesting development in search is that searchers are looking for longer and longer search queries. Hitwise reports that one-word searches are down by 2 percent from June 2008. Two-word search queries are down by 9 percent while three-word searches are up by 1 percent. But four-word and five-word searches are up by 5 and 6 percent, respectively. Before you say “Wow!”, however, consider that searches for eight-word queries are up 16 percent from June 2008. Now you can say “Wow!”
Now what does all that mean?
I think one thing it could mean is that searchers are getting more comfortable with search. But it also likely means that the search engines are a lot less effective at returning results for searches with fewer keywords. When you consider that more and more companies are going online, increasing the competition in every niche across the board, searchers are looking at longer search strings to be more specific in the information they want. The take away there for any business attempting to conduct SEO is to go narrow. Target longer phrases and more of them. Companies that win in the search engine game will be those who learn how to research what searches are looking for and providing that on their web properties. Tools can make or break you with online marketing and keyword research tools are perhaps the most essential of all.