Search giant Google dropped roughly a percentage point in Experian Hitwise’s monthly study of search engine market share, while took analysts by surprise,″ target=“_blank“ >gaining fully 21 percent in month-over-month statistics.

The online market researcher also found that Microsoft’s Bing lost 1 percent month-over-month, while Yahoo gained 3 percent in a similar measure. For individual industries, Hitwise said that "Google’s percentage of upstream traffic grew for the Automotive, Shopping and Travel categories. Yahoo Search saw gains in the Automotive category. Bing saw double-digit growth among three categories, including a 125 percent increase in the Health category."

The statistics for these verticals, experts say, are of great importance for search engine optimization (SEO) professionals working for companies in a given industrial sector.

The report also found that longer search queries – those between five and eight words long – were less common during the month of March, while gains were seen in both single-word searches and those of eight or more words. Each of the latter two categories grew by 1 percent over the previous month’s statistics.