Microsoft Bing Gouges Google, Grows U.S. Search Share to 9.3%

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2009-09-22

Microsoft's Bing continues to tally more users, grabbing 9.3 percent of the U.S. search engine market share in August at the expense of Google and AOL, according to the latest numbers from comScore.

Google's search share was down 0.1 percent to 64.6 percent for August, while AOL's share was 3 percent compared to 3.1 percent in July. Bing, which tallied 8.9 percent market share in July, had been taking share from Yahoo in June and July but this time Yahoo held steady at 19.3 percent. It appears Bing gouged Google and AOL. TechCrunch has graphics here.

BroadPoint AmTech analyst Benjamin Schachter, who looked at the search share through the lens of the impending search deal between Microsoft and Yahoo, isn't sounding the klaxon warning to Google just yet. "We remain hesitant to extrapolate this into meaningful long-term share gains for a combined Microsoft and Yahoo."

Combined, Microsoft and Yahoo command 28.6 percent of the U.S. search share market. While this is still less than half of Google's share, Microsoft expects to grow its share of search should regulatory bodies bless its July bid to power Yahoo search in 2010.

Users continue to search Google at a good clip. comScore's measure of search query traffic showed that Google queries were up 22 percent year-over-year and increased 2.4 percent on a month-to-month basis. Overall, the U.S. search engine market's query growth of 19.2 percent year-over-year is a nice lift from the 15.5 percent year-over-year rate comScore noted in July.

ComScore also released paid click data for August. Total paid clicks across all search engines were down 0.6 percent month-over-month and 13.5 percent from August 2008.

Google's paid clicks were up 0.4 percent, but down 9.4 percent from the prior year. Yahoo's paid clicks dipped 5.7 percent from July and 15.9 percent from the period last year. Microsoft's paid clicks were up 4.7 percent from July, but down 27.2 percent from the August 2008, when Live Search was performing poorly for the company.

Researchers FBR Capital Markets commented on query growth and paid clicks, noting:

"The slight reacceleration in core search query growth is encouraging, but paid search growth is ultimately far more relevant. Those figures have been more stable as comScore's reported core search growth figures have ebbed and flowed. We continue to believe that sponsored search will be one of the first segments of advertising to recover, with Google by far being the biggest beneficiary."

Bing meanwhile has been gunning for Google since it rolled out in June. Since its launch, Bing has begun indexing Twitter tweets in real-time and features like Bing and Ping, which lets users share search results. Just last week, the Bing teamlaunched Visual Search, a new way for users to search for content.

Nielsen in its August search share statistics said Microsoft actually commanded 10.7 percent of the market, a month-over-month increase of 22.1 percent.

However, while comScore hinted that Google took the search share hit from Bing in August, Nielsen found Bing's growth came at the expense of Yahoo, which saw its month-over-month share decrease 4.2 percent to 16 percent.

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