Statistics released last week by Experian Hitwise revealed that Bing’s market share of searches based in the United States was 9.23 percent in May. That share grew to 9.85 percent in June, marking a 7 percent increase between the months. During that same time period, Google’s share dropped 1 percent, from 72.17 percent to 71.65 percent. Yahoo trailed Google with a share of 14.37 percent.
To some, these numbers may not appear to signify any drastic shifts, but if you look at how far Bing has come since its inception, the possibility exists that it could be a formidable challenger to Google in the future.
Bing is just over a year old, as it was introduced to the public back in June of 2009. At its launch, it held 5.25 percent of the online search market. It has since increased its share by 88 percent to reach the current level of 9.85 percent. During that same 12 month span, Google’s share dropped 3.2 percent, and Yahoo’s dropped 11.24 percent.
Much of Yahoo’s drop can be attributed to the increased success and popularity of Bing. On the surface, one could infer that Bing is now Yahoo’s nemesis, but the two will actually team up in the coming months and become partners. When that happens, Bing’s numbers will jump even more. The search engine will be able to absorb much of Yahoo’s share, since it will be the default search on Yahoo pages when the partnership becomes official.
While Bing will replace Yahoo’s search engine, Yahoo will benefit from the agreement by receiving a percentage of the revenue generated by searches on its sites. When you consider Yahoo’s plummeting piece of the search engine pie, the agreement with Bing appears to be a smart one. As they say, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. It’s much better to at least receive some revenue share rather than eventually be phased out without any compensation.
In addition to the upcoming partnership with Yahoo, Bing could see healthier numbers as it innovates its technology. Microsoft aims to make Bing more user-friendly and functional than competing search engines. Instead of simply providing search results, Bing also gives its users the ability to perform other tasks related to their search, such as online shopping, for example. This integrated ability to perform other tasks without having to visit other pages is a time saver; it’s also a feature that could attract many new users.
Looking at the current numbers, it is obvious that Bing has quite a distance to travel if it ever wants to catch Google. Google will likely counter with new and improved features of its own to maintain its market share, and the competition between the different engines should produce a better end product for consumers.
For more on Bing’s rise, visit the Information Week article.