Microsoft has been pouring a lot of time and attention into its new search engine Bing. At first, Bing's gains in marketshare came at the expense of smaller search engines — like Microsoft partner Yahoo. But that is changing. According to comScore, Bing bit further into Google's marketshare in June.
More important for the state of online advertising — paid search spending is on the rise.
Bing has slowly been creeping up in the search market since last year. According to Hitwise, Bing's share of the search market has grown 88% since its debut in June of 2009. At launch, Bing captured 5.25% of the U.S. search market. Now it retains 9.85% of the market. While still small, Bing is taking some business from the competition. Yahoo's marketshare has declined 11.24% over the last year, while Google is down 3.2% in that time according to Hitwise.
comScore has similar numbers, measuring that Google dropped to a 62.6% command of the search market in June, down from 63.7% in May. That's the fourth month in a row Google has dropped. comScore estimated that Google has a 65.5% marketshare in February.
Both Yahoo and Microsoft have been using contextual search methods that have thrown off comScore's numbers in the past, but even accounting for that, the two engines made some gains against Google in June. According to JPMorgan analyst Imran Khan::
"Contextual searches at Yahoo! and Microsoft continued to impact the core search volume in June. As such, numbers may not be directly comparable to past months. On a reported basis, Google lost 110 bps market share in June vs. May, while Yahoo! and Microsoft were up 60 bps each. Excluding the impact of all adjustments, Google lost 20 bps of market share, while Yahoo! increased 10 bps and Microsoft grew 20 bps."
A more important measure for Bing's revenues might be ad impressions and click-throughs. And according to a new report from Efficient Frontier, both are on the rise at Bing, while remaining flat or down at Google and Yahoo.
But online marketers will be glad to hear that Bing's gains are not stealing their gains in a dwindling market. The online search business as a whole is improving. comScore estimates that U.S. core search volume increased 16.9% in the year since last June. That's even better than the 11.2% acceleration found in May.
According to Roger Barnette, CEO of SearchIgnite:
"We've seen a marked increase in activity across our clients this year, with nonretail marketers bolstering their search investments for the first time since 2008."
Meanwhile, Google finally resolved its censorship issues in China this week and won approval to renew its ICP license in the country. Perhaps unfortunately for Bing's gains — the search giant is about to have a lot more business in the massive Asian market, and it might soon recover from the slight declines its search business has seen these last few months.