Microsoft Bing's U.S. September search share fell to 8.5 percent from 9.6 percent in August, StatCounter claimed. Google's September share rose to 80 percent from 77.8 percent in July, reversing a trend of Bing gaining share at the expense of search engine rivals. StatCounter's new stats may simply be a sign that the honeymoon is over, and that users, their curiosities satisfied, are returning to Google.
Microsoft Bing's U.S. September search share fell to 8.5
percent from 9.6 percent in August, with Google gaining more than two percentage
points, according to analytics firm StatCounter.
Google's September share rose to 80 percent from 77.8
percent in July, reversing a trend of Bing gaining share at the expense of
search engine rivals. Bing dropped more than one percentage point, the first
sign that Bing might be susceptible to weakness since it launched in June, StatCounter found in stats released Oct. 1.
"The trend has been downwards for Bing since mid-August," said StatCounter CEO Aodhan Cullen. "The wheels haven't
fallen off but the underlying trend must be a little worrying for
Microsoft." See StatCounter's chart
The findings clash with estimates from Nielsen
, all of whom found that Bing continued to post gains at the expense of
Google, Yahoo or AOL in August. It will be a few weeks before those research
firms post their September statistics.
Yahoo, with whom Microsoft is hoping
to partner with in search to close the gap on Google, also declined, to
9.4 in September from 10.5 percent in August.
StatCounter also said global search share for Bing and
Yahoo also declined. Bing slipped to 3.3 percent from 3.6 percent, while Yahoo
dipped to 4.4 percent from 4.8 percent. Google's global share remained at 90.5
StatCounter, which checks 10 billion page loads per
month, said its data is based on an analysis of 4.6 billion search engine
referring clicks collected from September 2008 to September 2009. The firm said
1.1 billion of those clicks hailed from the United States.
No one would presume to declare Bing a failure for
slipping in one month. In fact, this fall was expected by many search analysts
who believed Bing would see traffic surges and market share gains from users
doing less searches on Google or Yahoo to test Bing. StatCounter's new stats
may simply be a sign that the honeymoon is over, and that users, their
curiosities satisfied, are returning to Google.
Bing will have to redouble its efforts, both in
innovation and marketing
(it has embarked on a $100 million ad campaign), to
peck away at Google. The partnership with Yahoo, in which Bing will power Yahoo
search results, should enable Bing to narrow the market share gap.
Microsoft, whose combined market share with Yahoo would
be close to 30 percent, would still significantly lag Google and its 65
percent-plus U.S. market share. Google nets closer to 70 percent of the
searches on a global basis, according to comScore