Microsoft's Bing captured 30 percent of all searches run in the U.S. last month, market researcher Experian Hitwise said yesterday.
Looking at the U.S. search engine market in March, Experian Hitwise found that the number of searches at sites powered by Bing rose by 5 percent since February. That includes searches run on Bing's own site as well as those on Yahoo sites powered by Bing. Individually, Bing.com itself accounted for 14.3 percent of all searches, while the ones on Yahoo tallied 15.7 percent.
Market leader Google continued to dominate in the U.S. However, it has seen a gradual, ongoing decline from 69.7 percent in December to 68 percent in January to 66.7 percent in February to 64.4 percent in March.
The numbers mimic a trend reported last month by rival market-researcher ComScore.
Bing and Yahoo also outperformed Google in successful searches, as defined by Hitwise.
Measuring the number of searches that led to an actual visit to a Web site, the research firm calculated an 81 percent success rate for both Yahoo and Bing individually, but a 66 percent rate for Google--numbers that have held steady over the past several months. The success rate can help determine whether a search engine is providing relevant responses. However, Google has in the past questioned Hitwise's findings in this area.
A Google Buzz post in February by Google engineer Matt Cutts expressed skepticism over this metric and criticized the way Hitwise defines a successful search as one in which the user leaves the search engine to visit another site.
The numbers used by Experian Hitwise are based on 10 million U.S. Internet users.