Bing Turns One: Increased Market Share, But Little Impact on Google

  |  June 2, 2010   |  Comments

Microsoft’s modest growth in search appears to be driven by Yahoo’s losses - not Google’s.

A year after Microsoft officially re-launched its search product under the Bing brand, the search engine has made progress in terms of both market share and its share of marketers’ paid search spend. However, the majority of that shift has come at Yahoo’s expense, as opposed to that of search giant and market leader Google.

April data from measurement firms comScore, The Nielsen Company, and Hitwise suggest Microsoft has enjoyed clear, if modest, gains in the share of U.S. searches its search properties have attracted since it relaunched the Bing brand at the beginning of June 2009.

According to comScore, Microsoft sites accounted for 11.8 percent of searches in April 2010, up from 8 percent in May 2009. According to Nielsen, that figure was slightly higher, with Microsoft’s search products reaching a 12.9 percent share of searches versus 9.4 percent during the same period. Nielsen and comScore’s data include searches conducted on Microsoft’s MSN and Windows Live properties in addition to Bing.

Hitwise, meanwhile, tracks numbers for Bing specifically, and estimates the engine accounted for 9.43 percent of U.S. searches in April 2010, compared with a 5.68 percent share of searches for Microsoft’s MSN and Live properties in April 2009.

On average, therefore, all three data providers concur that Microsoft grew its share of U.S. searches by around four percentage points over the past twelve months. However, it’s interesting to note the majority of that growth appears to have come at the expense of Yahoo’s search product, as opposed to that of market leader Google. Over the same period, comScore, Nielsen, and Hitwise reported losses in search share for Yahoo’s engine of 2.4 percentage points, 3.7 percentage points, and 1.31 percentage points, respectively, whereas Google’s share remained relatively stable.


binggrowth.jpg

Search spending estimates tell a similar story. According to data from search marketing management provider Efficient Frontier, Bing’s share of its clients’ paid search spend has risen from 3.8 percent in Q2 2009, to 7 percent in the second quarter of 2010. By contrast, Yahoo has seen its share of spend drop from 21.3 percent to 17.8 percent in the same period. Google, meanwhile, has seen its own share of spend remain consistent, growing slightly from 74.9 percent to 75.3 percent.


Share of Paid Search Spend Among Efficient Frontier’s Clients

efspend.jpg
*Data is for Q2 to date.

On the other hand, some might credit Microsoft with a victory for simply preventing Google from gaining more share, which it had been doing steadily prior to Bing’s launch. Google was growing slowly but steadily until May 2009, when it accounted for 65 percent of U.S. searches, according to comScore. That number remained flat into June 2009, and remained just shy of the 65 percent mark nine months later in April 2010.

Coming as it does at Yahoo’s expense, Bing’s success is a bittersweet victory for Microsoft. The two companies announced a partnership in July 2009 that will see Microsoft provide algorithmic and paid search services for Yahoo properties for a ten-year period. Under the terms of the deal, self-serve advertising for search campaigns on both Web sites will be handled by Microsoft’s AdCenter platform, with Yahoo retaining control for premium, human-sold campaigns on both Microsoft and Yahoo-owned Web sites.

Yahoo announced at an investors’ day last week that it hopes to switch to Microsoft’s back-end by the end of the year.

Despite Bing’s inability to wrestle any serious market share from Google, however, some smaller businesses have reported increased ROI from both Bing and Yahoo. According to a report issued in March by local online advertising firm WebVisible, click-throughs on small business ads rose significantly between Q4 2008 and Q4 2009 across the two engines.

The report found click-through-rates (CTR) on Google ads rose 32 percent for the 12,000 advertisers observed in Q4 2009, while Bing click-through rates climbed 109 percent and Yahoo 123 percent, compared to fourth quarter 2008. "Bing’s higher CTR shows how the soon-to-be implemented Microsoft-Yahoo! search deal will benefit small business advertisers," the company stated in its report.

Follow Jack Marshall on Twitter at @JackMarshall.

ClickZ Live Toronto On the heels of a fantastic event in New York City, ClickZ Live is taking the fun and learning to Toronto, June 23-25. With over 15 years' experience delivering industry-leading events, ClickZ Live offers an action-packed, educationally-focused agenda covering all aspects of digital marketing. Early Bird Rates expire May 29. Register today and save!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jack Marshall

Jack Marshall was a staff writer and stats editor for ClickZ News from 2007 until August 2011. 

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Today is our #1 newsletter.
Get a daily dose of digital marketing.

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce
This Magic Quadrant examines leading digital commerce platforms that enable organizations to build digital commerce sites. These commerce platforms facilitate purchasing transactions over the Web, and support the creation and continuing development of an online relationship with a consumer.

Paid Search in the Mobile Era

Paid Search in the Mobile Era
Google reports that paid search ads are currently driving 40+ million calls per month. Cost per click is increasing, paid search budgets are growing, and mobile continues to dominate. It's time to revamp old search strategies, reimagine stale best practices, and add new layers data to your analytics.

WEBINARS

Resources

Jobs

    • SEO Specialist
      SEO Specialist (HeBS Digital) - NEW YORK                             ...
    • GREAT Campaign Project Coordinator
      GREAT Campaign Project Coordinator (British Consulate-General, New York) - New YorkThe GREAT Britain Campaign is seeking an energetic and creative...
    • Paid Search Senior Account Manager
      Paid Search Senior Account Manager (Hanapin Marketing) - BloomingtonHanapin Marketing is hiring a strategic Paid Search Senior Account Manager...