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Ask increased its market share for the fourth consecutive month, accounting for 3.44% of US searches in the four weeks ended March 27, 2010, up 21% from February, according to Experian Hitwise data.

Meanwhile, Google accounted for 69.97% of all March searches, down 1% from the previous month.

Yahoo Search and Bing received 15.04% and 9.62% of March searches, respectively.

The remaining 69 search engines in the Hitwise Search Engine Analysis Tool accounted for 1.93% of US searches.

Longer Searches Flat

In March, longer search queries—those averaging searches of five or more words—were unchanged from February. Searches of eight or more words increased 1%.

Short search queries—those averaging one to four words—were also flat from month to month.

Searches of one word comprised the plurality of searches, amounting to 22.98% of all queries.

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Search Traffic to Key US Industries

Search engines remain the primary way Internet users navigate to key industry categories.

Double-digit increases were recorded from February to March in the share of traffic going directly from search engines to the Automotive, Business and Finance, Entertainment, News and Media, Shopping and Social Networking categories.

Among the top 3 search engines, Google sent the most visits to Automotive, Health, Shopping, and Travel categories.

Bing's share registered double-digit growth among three categories, including a 125% increase in Health.

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