February 8, 2011, 1:45 PM

Bing searches rose 21% in January

Still Google accounts for nearly 68% of all U.S. searches.

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Bing continues to make gains in the search market, but it still has a ways to go to catch Google, according to January data from web measurement firm Hitwise, a subsidiary of Experian.

Bing accounted for 12.8% of all U.S. searches in January, a 20.8% gain in share of searches by U.S. Internet users compared to 10.6% in December.

Bing cut into the search share of both Google and Yahoo. (Bing provides the search technology for Yahoo sites, but Yahoo decides how results are displayed.) But even with a 2.4% dip in Google’s market share, the search giant continues to dominate the U.S. search market. Google’s market share fell from 69.7% in December to 68.0% in January. Yahoo’s market share fell 4.0%, from 15.2% in December to 14.6%.

Hitwise also found that Amazon.com Inc., No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, captured 11.3% of all paid clicks on search ads in January. While that is a 5.8% dip from 12.0% in December, it more than doubled the next retailer, Target, which accounted for 5.2% of paid clicks.

Two-word queries were the most common Internet searches in January by length, accounting for 23.6% of all searches, a 2.9% dip from December. One-word queries were next at 23.4%, a 0.8% decline. While both represented slight decreases, longer search queries—five to eight words—were up nearly 5% from December to January.

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