Microsoft’s Bing search engine may still be a bit player in the lucrative online search business dominated by Google, but it’s slowly and steadily gaining users. And it appears that Bing’s share is coming at the expense of both Google and Yahoo, the latter of which recently teamed up with Microsoft to be more competitive in online search.
It all depends on whose search market statistics you read — Hitwise’s or comScore’s. The most likely scenario in the U.S. search market: Bing is gaining, Yahoo draining, and Google maintaining.
Bing the Creeper
Analysis firm Experian Hitwise today released its U.S. search market data for February, and the numbers show that Bing’s slow push upward isn’t running out of stream. Conversely, Yahoo’s gradual decline continues. Google’s trending downward too, albeit with a still-enviable market share.
Here’s a quick January vs. February comparison chart for the big three search engines in the U.S.
Hitwise’s data should give Google execs plenty to ponder. Microsoft’s massive marketing push for Bing appears to be paying off. There’s no reason to assume that Bing’s advance will stall, particularly if Redmond succeeds in its aggressive foray into mobile search.
Meanwhile, comScore just released its February numbers for the U.S. search market. They show Google and Bing with slight gains, while Yahoo is down slightly:
Certainly, both the Hitwise or comScore data give Microsoft a reason to feel cautiously optimistic about Bing’s chances. And the Microsoft-Yahoo search partnership allows Redmond to focus its energies on goliath Google, which can’t afford to get too cocky, even with its gaudy market share.