While still distant behind search engine leader Google, Facebook grew its US search traffic by 13% in January, according to a recent report from comScore that examined search activity on leading web sites. In December, the analytics firm tracked 351 million search queries on Facebook in the US, and in January it counted 395 million.
Overall, Google still had 65.4% of the US market last month with more than 14 billion queries, and rivals like Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL and Ask had most of the rest. Their portions stayed pretty flat overall, and many other sites saw query volumes fall, so the fact that Facebook saw some growth is interesting, especially considering other search-related moves it has been making.
A redesign that Facebook introduced this month makes the search box more prominent than before, expanding in size and moving from the top right-hand side of the site to the top middle. Facebook also recently announced an expansion of its partnership with Microsoft’s search engine, Bing. While the engine has already been displaying web search results for Facebook searches, it will soon begin incorporating more data from Facebook users in order to deliver better results to them; Microsoft will continue running search ads in these results.