Bing Growing, But Microsoft Slips Back To Third in Search
Microsoft's new search engine continues to gain market traction, but it may not be for long. Bing, the service debuted just more than two weeks ago, continued to attract daily users for a second week.
Microsoft sites' average daily penetration among U.S. searches reached 16.7 percent during the week of June 8-12, up three percentage points from May 25-29, the week before Bing's debut, according to a study by comScore, an Internet traffic tracking company.
In its second week, Microsoft's share of search-result pages in the U.S. increased 12.1 percent, also up three percentage points from the week before its launch.
How Long Will It Last?
One week after its May 28 debut, Bing's market share rocketed past that of rival Yahoo, both in the U.S. and globally. Bing took second place behind Google, which has 71.47 percent of the U.S. market, and beat Yahoo's 10.22 percent with 16.28 percent, according to StatCounter, a New York daily Internet tracking company.
Globally, Bing had 5.62 percent of the market while Yahoo had 5.13 percent. Google held first place globally with 87.62 percent.
Even with a successful launch, it wasn't all smiles for Microsoft. Just after Bing launched, scandal ensued, giving the service some negative attention. A feature in Bing called smart motion preview, which plays videos when a user navigates over it, landed Microsoft in hot water with both child-advocacy groups and countries such as China. Microsoft defended the service and provided its customers with an extra layer of control over the content.
The question in many observers' minds is how long Bing's traction will last.
"It is just out of the gate, so it won't be until the next few months that we will be able to tell whether they have taken some real percentage points," said Aodhan Cullen, founder of StatCounter, from his office in Ireland.
By Thursday, Bing had fallen to the number-three slot behind Yahoo.
"You can see they have gained traction from advertising and publicity from the launch of this search engine," Cullen said. "If you look at statistics, it has returned to the levels it was at before the launch with Windows Live and Live Search."
Competition Is Good
Despite falling back to third place, Bing is still stealing market share from Google and Yahoo, Cullen said.
StatCounter analyzed search-engine market share two weeks before and two weeks after the launch of Bing. For the U.S. market, it found Google's market share decreased from 78.68 percent to 77.94 percent, Yahoo decreased from 11.46 percent to 10.76 percent, and Bing increased from 7.4 percent to nine percent.
Regardless of whether Bing continues to move ahead of its search competitors, it has given searchers more services from which to choose.
"It is hard to break the Google habit," Cullen said. "But it is great to have extra competition because it is not good to have one dominant player with the entire market share."