Microsoft Bing Pings Google

Microsoft Corp.'s Bing had a really strong August as the company takes another step in its effort to boost its place in the search engine business.

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The new search engine, which was first brought out in May to do battle with rival Google, saw its share of the search market grow by 22.1% from 9% in July to 10.7% in August. The results made Bing the fastest growing search engine in the top 10 list, according to the Nielsen Co.

Despite the srong growth, Bing still lags far behind Google, long the dominant search engine.

In a report released this week, Nielsen said that Google holds 64.6% of the search market this month, up 2.6% from July. Yahoo Search came in a distant second with 16% of the market in August, 4.2% less than it had in July.

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Microsoft has been busy beefing up Bing in the hopes that it can eventually give Google a run for its money.

Earlier this week, the Microsoft released a beta version of Visual Search tool, which is designed to let Bing users search through galleries of images instead of mainly text. The Visual Search tool was met with applause from some analysts.

Microsoft this summer signed an agreement with Yahoo Inc. that is also aimed at weakening Google 's hold on the search market. The proposed alliance -- which still must pass antitrust muster -- could give the two companies some much-needed leverage in their ongoing battle against Google.

The agreement calls for Bing to power Yahoo's Web sites while Yahoo sells premium search advertising services for both companies.

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