Microsoft Bing Grabs Search Share from Google, Yahoo

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2010-02-10

Microsoft recorded 11.3 percent of the searches in the United States for January, grabbing market share from market leader Google and sinking search rival Yahoo, according to comScore.

Google notched 65.4 percent of U.S. searches, down from an all-time high of 65.7 percent through December 2009, the researcher found. No. 2 search provider Yahoo claimed an even 17 percent of the market, down from its 17.3 percent share from December.

Taking the broader view, Microsoft gained 330 basis points of search since it launched Bing in June, an "impressive accomplishment," according to BroadPoint AmTech analyst Ben Schachter.

"Overall, the trends continue to be very strong for Bing, and remain very bad for Yahoo," Schachter wrote in a Feb. 9 research note. "Investors hoping that tonight's data would show stabilization for Yahoo will be disappointed...Unfortunately for Yahoo, we still do not see a bottom for its potential share loss."

January marked the twelfth consecutive month of share loss for the struggling search engine, which commanded 17.5 percent in November 2009, 18 percent in October and as much as 20.4 percent in November 2008.

Schachter added that while the impact to Yahoo's net revenue and earnings per share may be mitigated by the idea that the declines are coming from less profitable distribution queries, the downslide will continue to impinge the perception of the company.

Each month that Yahoo slides in search places greater importance on the company's deal to let Bing power its search results on the back end. In this arrangement, Microsoft will take ownership of Yahoo's search and boost Bing's search share to 28 percent of the market.

Even if federal regulators at the Department of Justice fail to bless the Microsoft-Yahoo search pact, it is likely Bing will continue to grab search share from Yahoo and possibly Google.

Bing has made technology and business strides, improving Bing Maps, adding features such as Bing Recipes. Just last week, Bing bolstered its search deal with Facebook, agreeing to power all the social network's Web search in the United States and overseas.

In another move aimed at dethroning Google in search, Microsoft is reportedly in talks with Apple to make Bing the default search engine on the successful iPhone. Chitika crunched the numbers and claimed Google searches account for 50.5 percent of all Internet traffic on the iPhone.

But Google isn't standing still, ramping up its social activities early in 2010. The company launched Google Social Search and will soon roll out Google Buzz, its effort to socialize Gmail.

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