Microsoft Bing Performed Strongly in Second Week, Says comScore

Microsoft's new search engine, Bing, continued to gain market share in the U.S. market during its second week of release, according to research firm comScore. Before Bing's debut on June 1, research suggested that Microsoft's share of the search-engine market had been falling in the face of fierce competition from Yahoo and Google.

Microsoft's new search engine, Bing, performed strongly in its second week of release, according to research firm comScore, which saw its daily penetration among U.S. searchers increase by 3 percentage points to 16.7 percent.

During that period, which extended from June 8-12, Microsoft's share of search result pages in the U.S. increased 12.1 percent, also increasing by 3 percentage points from the week before Bing's June 1 release.

Following Bing's first week, comScore had released a report suggesting that Microsoft's rate of searcher penetration had increased 1.7 percent, to 15.5 percent, while its share of search-results pages increased by 2 percent to 11.1 percent. During that same period, an early report from StatCounter suggested that Bing had overtaken Yahoo by over 6 points in U.S. market share; subsequent reports by Nielsen and other firms disputed those findings.

"It appears that Microsoft Bing has continued to generate interest from the market for the second consecutive week," Mike Hurt, comScore senior vice president, said in a statement accompanying the firm's report. "These early data reflect a continued positive market reaction to Bing in the initial stages of its launch."

In addition to traditional "page of hyperlinks" search, Bing also offers subject categories such as "Images" and "Shopping" that allow for a more specific drilling-down by users.

The comScore data suggests a reversal of fortune for Microsoft's search-engine aspirations. According to a June 16 report issued by research firm Nielsen, Microsoft's share of the search-engine market had been falling before the release of Bing.

In that Nielsen report, the number of people conducting online searches via Microsoft sites had dropped by 14.6 percent between May 2008 and May 2009. During that same period, Yahoo and Google experienced search-engine market share growth of 22.3 percent and 28.2 percent, respectively, while the overall search market climbed 20.3 percent for the same period.

The Nielsen report offered one bright spot for Microsoft, suggesting that users spent up to 2 hours, 23 minutes on Microsoft-related sites or using Microsoft Web-based applications, versus 1 hour 52 minutes for Google. However, Yahoo won that overall metric matchup, with its users spending 3 hours 13 minutes either viewing or using the company's Web properties.