Contradicting other data, Compete says search traffic growing on the desktop

Millward Brown’s Compete unit issued its 2016 State of Search report. Based on clickstream data, it appears to contradict earlier comScore data, which show a decline in overall desktop query volumes. By contrast, Compete says “traffic to search engines [is] up 12 percent since last year.”
According to the Compete report, search visits per per person are up “almost 50 percent since last year.” Users are more frequently visiting search engines, according to the firm.
In addition, Compete says that total time with search engines has grown by 24 percent since last year, “amounting to more than 111 billion minutes spent on search engines a month.” However, users are visiting fewer pages per session: the report says that pages per visit have declined eight percent since 2015.
Consistent with that latter finding, users collectively are spending less time per visit, which is off 17 percent since 2015. The inference here is that people want and expect answers quickly and are

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Google developing keyboard for iPhone in hopes of boosting search volumes [report]

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According to a report yesterday in The Verge, Google is about to release its own third-party keyboard for the iPhone. The report says that the keyboard will employ swiping/gesture-based typing and predictive text.
Google’s objective is apparently to increase the number of searches coming from iOS devices, the iPhone in particular. With the release of iOS 8, Apple allowed third-party apps to replace its own keyboard.
While there are numerous options today, the two most popular replacement keyboards for the iPhone are Swype and Swiftkey. Swype was acquired by Nuance in 2011, and Swiftkey was just bought this year by Microsoft. Apple doesn’t provide app-install numbers, but Swiftkey, for example, has more than 50 million installs on Android.
This analysis, cited by The Verge, argues that most smartphone users do less than one mobile search per day. However, there are tiers of users, some of whom do a lot of mobile searching, and others who do less. In

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Google Down 1 Billion PC Searches From 2014, But Mobile Volumes Likely Way Up

December desktop search rankings from comScore came out yesterday. Bing gained slightly versus November; most others are off a fraction of a point.
Google has lost market share and volume versus a year ago, when it had a share of 65.4 percent. A year ago, Bing was at 19.7 percent; today it’s at 21.1 percent. However, these data tell only part of the story because they don’t include mobile search.

ComScore says that in terms of total market share, including “powered by” search, Google controlled 64.8 percent of US search query volume, while Bing powered 32.2 percent of organic search.
Data below show that month-over-month desktop search volume is flat. Compared with a year ago, PC queries were down by 1.2 billion overall. That’s mostly attributable to a decline in queries on Google, which may have transferred to mobile.

As indicated, the charts and data above don’t reflect mobile search volumes, which are probably relatively modest for Bing and Yahoo but

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Survey: Under 40 Percent Start A “Local Search” With A Search Engine

What we widely call “local search” is only partly about search engines. Finding local content and making offline purchase decisions is a multifaceted process that involves several categories of information and devices. That’s according a new survey and report from IDC and YP.
The report is called “Local Search Unleashing Opportunities for National Advertisers” and based on a survey of 750 US adults (between 18 to 44). Roughly 80 percent said they own smartphones, matching overall US smartphone penetration of just under 80 percent according to comScore.
Where Users Start Local Searches

Source: IDC (2016)
The survey looked at how people go about finding local information on the desktop and mobile devices. It focused on discovery of information tied predominantly to national brands but in an offline/local context across a range of categories:

Financial services and insurance
Casual dining
Business services

The research found that “general search engines” were largest single starting point for local search users. However, as the graphic above illustrates, that was

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DuckDuckGo Ends 2015 On A High Note, Reaches 12M Searches In A Single Day

Privacy search engine DuckDuckGo reported strong growth in 2015, with search queries reaching a single-day high of 12 million on December 14.
Generating more then 300 million searches during the last month of the year, the site saw its average daily search numbers climb from 7.7 million in January to 10.8 million in December.
In 2015 DuckDuckGo turned seven years old with a total of 20 developer meetup groups… The growth we saw throughout the year culminated in hitting over 12 million direct searches in one day in December.DuckDuckGo Blog
While DuckDuckGo has experienced a steady rate of growth for searches since 2011, the search engine saw a sharp rise during 2015.
DuckDuckGo Direct Queries Per Day

Among its highlights for the year, DuckDuckGo boasted an increase in its meetup groups for developers, as well as open-sourcing much of its front-end code, including its Litestrap framework, Instant Answer templates and common styling elements.
The post DuckDuckGo Ends 2015 On A High Note, Reaches

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Top Searches On Bing In 2015: Caitlyn Jenner, Tom Brady & Paris

Following Yahoo’s lead, Bing has released its top searches in 2015 for celebrities, athletes, and news stories, along with a number of other categories.
This year, people searching on Bing for celebrities were most interested in Caitlyn Jenner, followed by Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift. The only males to make Bing’s top ten celebrity searches were Chris Brown at No. 7 and Justin Bieber at No. 10.
Bing’s Top Celebrity Searches in 2015

Caitlyn Jenner
Miley Cyrus
Taylor Swift
Kim Richards
Kim Kardashian
Bindi Irwin
Chris Brown
Kylie Jenner
Justin Bieber
Kelly Clarkson

For the most searched athletes on Bing, Tom Brady took the lead, followed by Ronda Rousey and Jordan Spieth.
Bing’s Top Athlete Searches in 2015

Tom Brady
Ronda Rousey
Jordan Spieth
Stephen Curry
Aaron Rodgers
Serena Williams
Caroline Wozniacki
LeBron James
Danica Patrick
Cristiano Ronaldo

Bing also ranked the most popular news stories searched on the site, with topics ranging from the recent terrorist attacks in Paris to natural disasters and scientific discoveries.
Bing’s Top News Story Searches in 2015

ISIS and Paris Attacks
The EU migrant crisis
Earthquake in Nepal
Snowstorm buries NE

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Google’s PC Market Share Off Its Peak, Yet Company Seeing More Searches Than Ever

Yesterday comScore released its September 2015 search engine rankings for the US market. There was almost no change in position or share from August. Google’s share hovers at just below 64 percent.
However, a year ago, Google was at 67.3 percent and Yahoo was at 10 percent. Today Yahoo is at 12.6 percent. Google’s intervening losses and Yahoo’s gains are likely a result (at least partly) of the Firefox default search deal with Yahoo.

In terms of desktop search query volume Google saw a year over year increase of 1 percent to 11.4 billion searches. Bing saw a 2 percent annual increase. Yahoo was flat. However this doesn’t tell the full story, which needs to include mobile volumes to present a complete picture of the market.

Assuming that the figures immediately above are accurate, we can combine them with Google’s prior statements about mobile search exceeding the desktop to argue that there are at least 11.4 billion mobile queries on Google

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Bid Boosting On Bing: Discover The Untapped Value

Reaching the right audience at the right price is the goal for every advertiser, but that goal can be frustratingly elusive. Fortunately, there’s a powerful tool at your disposal to do just that: bid modifiers.
Bid modifiers provide you additional control to ensure your ads are shown to the customers you care about most — and not shown to those you care about least — while helping you optimally manage to your campaign goals.
How Does Bid Boosting Work?
Bid modifiers allow you to change keyword bids based on a number of parameters, helping to ensure your ad wins the auction and appears on the search results page. They can be applied to a searcher’s geographic location, the day and time of their search or the device they are searching from. Bid modifiers also allow you to bid on audiences using remarketing.
These modifiers are applied in real time during the auction when a Bing user’s search triggers your paid search ad, and they alter

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Desktop Search: Google May Have Peaked Last Year According To comScore

Late this afternoon comScore released its monthly report on US desktop search market share. Google controlled 63.8 percent of all PC search volume in August. Microsoft (Bing) had 20.6 percent and Yahoo saw 12.7 percent.
Bing was up a fraction of a point at Google’s apparent expense, while Yahoo was flat. Month over month Google is only off 0.2 percent. However the company’s desktop search share is down nearly 4 points vs. a year ago when it was 67.6 percent. Google may thus have “peaked” on the desktop.

The measurement firm said that there were 17.6 billion PC-based searches in August. Google saw 11.3 billion of them. We must conclude then that there were at least that many mobile queries, given Google’s previous statement in May that mobile queries had overtaken search volumes on the PC.
According to StatCounter Google controls nearly 90% of mobile search in the US. Yahoo had just over 7 percent and Bing roughly 4 percent

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Study: Position 1 In Search May Get Fewer Clicks Than Position 2 With Rich Snippets

The folks at Blue Nile Research have released a study on the impact of rich snippets in the search results.
Rich snippets, often enabled by adding structured markup to your code, can potentially add stars, images, videos and so forth to the search results you see on Google or Bing. The richer user experience often leads to searchers paying more attention to the search results with the rich snippets versus the basic snippets.
Blue Nile Research claims that rich snippets in position 2 will have a 61 percent click capture rate, whereas no rich snippets on position 1 would have a 48 percent click share. This is compared to no rich snippets in position 2, which would result in only a 35 percent click share. So there is a 26-percent increase in the percentage of clicks the second result sees, if that second result has rich snippets.
Here is the chart:

You can download the full study over here.
The post Study:

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