Month after month, Bing continues to gain momentum in the search-engine market. Microsoft's so-called decision engine is rising up the comScore ratings percentage point by percentage point -- last month seemingly at Google's expense.
On Tuesday, comScore released its monthly qSearch analysis of the U.S. search marketplace, and with it more good news for Bing.
In August, Americans conducted more than 13.9 billion searches. Google and its related sites accounted for 64.6 percent of the search market. Microsoft and its related sites grabbed 9.3 percent, a meager 0.4 percentage point gain versus July. But it's a gain nonetheless.
Bing's Alternative Take
According to comScore, Yahoo sites remain in second place in the reinvigorated search-engine wars with 19.3 percent. With just shy of 10 percent, Microsoft is holding on to a commanding third place while Ask Network captured 3.9 percent, followed by the once-dominant AOL with three percent.
Bing, Microsoft's successor to Windows Live Search, debuted on June 3. Microsoft has invested millions in advertising on television, the Internet and in movie theaters to drive brand awareness, attempting to differentiate Bing with the promise of faster, more informed decisions.
With Bing, Microsoft is aiming to build on today's search-engine technology but offer a new user experience and tools to accomplish any one of four goals: Making a purchase, planning a trip, researching a health condition, or finding a local business. Microsoft pointed to the explosive growth of online content and promises Bing will help users more easily navigate the information overload so the 30 percent of searches that comScore says are unsatisfactory can have a better outcome.
Bing's Big Mo
Bing seems to be resonating with more searchers. Nielsen's August data shows a different angle on Bing's growth: Bing search volume grew 22.1 percent in August. That qualifies Bing as the fastest-growing U.S. search engine. Bing Visual Search, a new feature that lets users view search results as rows of images instead of lists of text links, may help Bing maintain its momentum. And Microsoft said more updates are coming.
Still, Greg Sterling, principal analyst at Sterling Market Intelligence, didn't get overly excited about the latest comScore numbers. "Only over the course of several quarters will we know if there's sustained momentum," he said. "Microsoft has been aggressive with promoting Bing. But it does appear to be catching on with a segment of users. My view, however, is that Bing is a bigger threat to Yahoo than Google."
Time will tell if Sterling is correct. For now, Google still reigns supreme. In the August analysis of the top properties where search activity is observed, Google sites led with 13 billion search queries, followed by Yahoo sites with 2.8 billion queries.