Microsoft Bing Gained Market Share in June, Says comScore

Microsoft Bing increased its U.S. search engine market share by 0.4 percent during its first month of release, putting it third in the search-engine arena behind Google and Yahoo, both of which enjoy substantial leads. Although Microsoft has committed heavily to Bing with a multimillion-dollar ad campaign, earning a great deal of media attention in the process, reports suggest that it has yet to see a substantial uptick in paid search spend.

Microsoft Bing gained market share in the U.S. search marketplace in June, according to a new report released by comScore.

Bing's gain was 0.4 percent for the month, giving it 8.4 percent of the market - placing it in third behind Google, which occupied 65 percent of the market, and Yahoo, which held 19.6 percent. Ask Network came in fourth with 3.9 percent of the market, followed in fifth place by AOL with 3.1 percent.

Of the 14 million searches that Americans conducted in June, they went to Google for 9.1 billion of them, followed by Yahoo for 2.8 billion and Microsoft sites for 1.2 billion.

During his keynote speech at the Worldwide Partner Conference in New Orleans on July 14, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer suggested that his company would continue to back Bing despite the prospect of an uphill battle against Google and Yahoo.

"Man, oh man, have we taken a lot of abuse, and we're still just an itsy-bitsy part of the market, but we have a little bit of mojo," Ballmer said, adding that Bing is "as good a view of our tenacity and commitment as anything you've ever seen."

As a sign of that commitment, Microsoft has paired Bing with a massive ad campaign, estimated at between $80 million and $100 million.

It could be some time, however, before Microsoft sees a monetary return on its investment. A July report by research company SearchIgnite showed that, although Microsoft had gained share in users, its percentage of the U.S. paid search advertising market remained stagnant for the second quarter of 2009 at just under 6 percent, roughly the same position as before the launch of Bing.

By contrast, Yahoo had 17 percent of the paid search spend in the quarter, while Google occupied 77 percent. Yahoo's share, however, had declined year-over-year by 26 percent, with much of that being swallowed up by Google.

"Microsoft appears to be focusing its efforts on driving consumer interest and capturing increased search query share," Roger Barnette, president of SearchIgnite, said in a July 14 statement about the paid search spend. "We have not yet seen this translate into more paid search advertising dollars for Microsoft, although typically consumer adoption precedes advertiser adoption."