Does Bing have Google shaking in its boots? Google may indeed be concerned about Microsoft's breakout Bing launch, analysts said.
According to the New York Post, Google cofounder Sergey Brin is so rattled by the rival search engine that he has assembled a team of top engineers to work on urgent updates to the site. The Post also reported that Brin himself is leading the team to determine how Bing serves up its results.
"I do think Google is taking Bing very seriously," said Greg Sterling, principal analyst at Sterling Market Intelligence. "According to the early traffic indications, there has been some bump for Bing."
Microsoft launched Bing about two weeks ago and is sinking between $80 million to $100 million to market its so-called decision engine. The early results are impressive.
Microsoft increased its average daily penetration among U.S. searchers from 13.8 percent during May 26-30 to 15.5 percent during June 2-6, according to comScore. The research firm concluded this is an indication that the search engine is reaching more people than before. Microsoft's share of search-result pages in the U.S., a proxy for overall search intensity, increased from 9.1 percent to 11.1 percent during the same time frame.
Meanwhile, StatCounter is reporting that Bing has overtaken Yahoo to secure the number-two spot in the search market. StatCounter said Bing grabbed market share from Google. StatCounter's analysis reveals that in the U.S., Bing leapfrogged Yahoo to take second place with 16.28 percent. Yahoo had 10.22 percent. Google still dominates the U.S. search market with 71.47 percent.
In the U.S., Bing ranked 17th out of more than 450,000 Web sites, up from 5,120 the week before the official launch when the Web site was merely a placeholder, according to Hitwise. Within the search-engines category, Bing ranked fourth out of the search engines tracked by Hitwise, and Bing Image Search ranked 15th for the week ending June 6.
Yahoo Should Worry
Sterling said Google may have all but dismissed Bing's bang before the official launch, based on Microsoft's search-engine track record. Microsoft Live Search wasn't received with the same favor from analysts, investors and consumers as Bing.
"I don't think they are shaking in their boots at this point. But Google has to take a competitor like Microsoft very seriously because they have the capacity to invest millions of dollars into search," Sterling said. "I wouldn't be surprised if Google was taking a closer look and trying to reverse-engineer the algorithm and trying to assess how big it really is."
Sterling doesn't expect to see Bing with 25 percent of the search market by this time next year, though he said anything is possible. And he doesn't expect Bing to topple Google, either. Google currently has about 60 percent of the market. But, he said, Yahoo may have reason to worry.
"I am not sure Yahoo is not making the same kind of investment into its search as Microsoft," Sterling said. "Yahoo needs to continue developing its product and make sure it's competitive. Otherwise, Yahoo could wake up and find themselves in third place at some point in the next 12 to 18 months if they are not careful."