Microsoft's Bing takes a nibble out of Google's search share

Still trailing Google and Yahoo, Bing boosts Microsoft's take of search market by 1 per cent

Up and running for a month, Microsoft's Bing has upped the company's share of the U.S. search market by 1 per cent, Web analytics firm StatCounter said today.

According to StatCounter, Bing -- unveiled late last month by CEO Steve Ballmer -- may have nibbled away at Google's commanding lead in the search arena, but it definitely hasn't taken a big bite. While Google Inc.'s share dipped from 79.07 per cent to 78.48 per cent in June, Microsoft's search site share grew from 7.21 per cent to 8.23 per cent. Despite falling behind for a short time last month, Yahoo has worked its way back into second place with 11.04 per cent.

"At first sight, a 1 per cent increase in market share does not appear to be a huge return on the investment Microsoft has made in Bing, but the underlying trend appears positive," StatCounter CEO Aodhan Cullen said in a statement. "Steady, if not spectacular, might be the best way to describe performance to date."

Microsoft's search sites include Bing, Live Search and MSN Search.

StatCounter's numbers show that Microsoft's search gain peaked early with a jump to 9.21 per cent after Bing's first week. However, after the newness of Bing's search site and the initial online chatter about it died down, so did its numbers.

Microsoft's share dipped into the 7.47 per cent and 7.6 per cent range during the middle of Bing's first month, but rose back past 8 per cent in the last six days of June, according to StatCounter.

Bing is the update to the company's far-from-beloved Microsoft Live Search. The update, which was code-named Kumo, comes with a phalanx of related services, like Bing Travel, Bing Cashback and Bing Maps for Enterprise. Paired with the company's hefty marketing muscle, the new service is Microsoft's effort to take on search behemoth Google.

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