Bing cracks 14% market share in U.S. during April

By Tom Warren, on 11th May 11 10:18 pm with 20 Comments

Microsoft’s Bing search market share grew again in the United States during the month of April.

The software giant’s “decision engine” now has 14.1% U.S. market share compared to Google’s 65.4% according to data from comScore. Bing rose by 0.2 percentage points in April, a rise of 2%. Yahoo’s market share also rose slightly in April at 15.9% following a 15.7% figure in February. Microsoft’s Bing search has increased its share consistently over the past six months. Bing grew faster in October than Google and has continued to rise recently. Bing reached an all time high of 11.8% market share in November but has improved upon the figure between December and April. Microsoft’s Bing search volume increased by 29% during 2010 according to comScore. ComScore says the US search market rose by 12% last year. Experian Hitwise also named Bing UK as fastest growing search engine in March recently.

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, compared Bing to a weed in January. “We bet on Bing and are growing like a weed in that business. So I feel pretty good about the bets,” said Ballmer. The comparison of Bing to a weed is a rather accurate one. Microsoft has shown it isn’t afraid to ensure Bing is everywhere. The software giant has pushed two minute video demos of Bing on iPhones, released Bing iPhone games and ensured Bing is making its way to the latest Toyota line of cars. Microsoft also introduced a specialBing for iPad application earlier this month. The constant iteration and product updates also keeps Bing high in the mind-share of users. Microsoft appears to have followed Google’s approach with a number of UI and feature enhancements in previous months.

Google isn’t happy about Bing’s approach however. Google kicked off a search engine war of words in February after Search Engine Land posted a broad investigation into what Google claims is Bing cheating search results. Amit Singhal, a Google Fellow who works on the company’s search engine ranking algorithm, claimed that Bing was simply copying Google’s results. Google allegedly caught Microsoft’s copying by creating a “Bing Sting.” The search giant created one-time code that would manually rank a page for a certain term and create around 100 synthetic searches searches that hardly anyone would ever enter into Google. The searches returned little or no results on Google or Bing but Google created a special honeypot page to show at the top of each synthetic results page. The result? Bing started listing the random queries only a few weeks after Google began listing them.

Microsoft was quick to deny Google’s claims with a blog post entitled “Thoughts on search quality.” Microsoft’s Harry Shum simply shrugged off Google’s claims as part of over 1,000 different signals and features in Bing’s ranking algorithm. Google wasn’t happy leaving it at just that though. Amit Singhal published a Google company blog postentitled “Microsoft’s Bing uses Google search results—and denies it.” The blog post outlines much of the original report from Search Engine Land but also called Bing’s search results stale and a “cheap imitation” of Google results. Microsoft and Google employees also traded jibes over Twitter regarding the findings.

Microsoft’s search alliance with Yahoo appears to be paying off too. Marin Software, a paid search marketing platform provider, and Razorfish, an interactive marketing and technology company, unveiled the results of an exclusive study last month conducted to analyze the impact of the Search Alliance on paid search campaign performance. The results showed that the Search Alliance has resulted in improved traffic quality for advertisers and increased its share of paid search impressions by 4% and its share of clicks by 2%.

Bing also passed Wikipedia on Compete’s list of the top 50 websites for December 2010. Bing took the sixth spot with 79.8 million unique visitors. Compete reported that Bing closed the year with a 105.36 percent increase in unique visitors — the largest yearly growth among the top 50 sites.

April 2011 U.S. Search Engine Rankings - comScore

  • Anonymous

    I don’t see Bing slowing down real soon, they really growing at a steady rate. Still think Microsoft is not delivering on it’s promisses when it comes to Bing HTML5. They promised it months and months and months ago, still nothing. If they only told what’s the problem…

    • Tom W

      Yup the lack of HTML5 version is disappointing.

    • luke516

      I had it for a couple days, then it was gone, then it was back, and it hasn’t been back…

    • Anonymous

      A lot of people complained about the HTML5 version when it was previewed, they’re probably going back to the drawing boards to try to make a better UI.

    • Anonymous

      A lot of people complained about the HTML5 version when it was previewed, they’re probably going back to the drawing boards to try to make a better UI.

    • GP007

      Really? All I remember hearing is people loving it and asking for MS to release it already.

    • Anonymous

      i didn’t like it that much.. seemed to dark/contrast to the result pages. i would like to at least see the html5 home page with active background – these are things bing could allow people to opt in to while logged in.. not sure why they’re not doing it.

    • Anonymous

      A lot of people complained about the HTML5 version when it was previewed, they’re probably going back to the drawing boards to try to make a better UI.

  • AlienSix

    Bing it on!

    • Griffin Coulter

      I literally just gonna say that. Sometimes I swear to God, I think I’m in the Truman Show.

  • Grannyville7989

    If you get any figures regarding world wide share, throw them our way, Mr Warren :)

  • Anonymous

    nice! haha i always tell my friend to use it, some do, some are boring. like they can take the challege some just do it for me and keep doing it because they dont seem to have the “its crap” that some people do even if they havent tried bing.
    hopefully the maps at least in europe can be better, im not from there, but it seems now its not about what bing finds or not… its about “maps are bad in x place” and most i read are from europe. so it seems even if bing works nice searching it people will still think is crap for the maps even if some dont use it often.

    it would be realllyyy cool if they could also implement the tickets/stradium map, or whatever it is that i found out last time when i was searching for a nhl game. its amazing, so it would be nice if people can use bing to search tickets in soccer games around the world and see and buy the zone they want. someday it may happen, at least they are raising marketshare

  • Griffin Coulter

    Does anyone know when the HTML5 version will be released?

    • ted

      I am starting to think there is no such thing…

    • Anonymous

      Its ridiculous … they announced it way back in June 2010 at WWDC and now 11 months later they STILL haven’t released it.. WTF Microsoft?

  • Guest

    I use and for privacy.

  • GP007

    This news coming today after Google I/O is priceless. I don’t see the chrome netbooks going anywhere really, sales will be weak and google missed the boat, netbooks are dying off now as people shift to tablets. So far Android tablets haven’t been able to do much vs the iPad and with Win8 coming, if the UI is slick and smooth, then the use for Android even there will be less.

    MS gaining in the US with Bing is big, but it’s time to move it out into the rest of the world, I hope they can add in all the Nokia ovi maps local data so that Bing can finally push into the EU and start knocking down on Googles global share as well. Will Bing ever overtike Google? Maybe not, but as long as they eat up enough of the pie between them and Yahoo to hurt Googles bottom line then being #1 doesn’t really matter.

    The day Bing+Yahoo can get close to 50% of the US market will be the day chairs get thrown around at Google HQ.

  • Pieter

    I like Bing. Just a pity they make as if South Africa does not exist !

  • Aethec

    Could the Ask Network please die? Their toolbar is too annoying, and their search engine isn’t good either.

  • Mido

    Good news.