Bing gaining on Google? Not necessarily

The change is not nearly as dramatic as it appears at a glance.

Have you heard the news? Microsoft's Bing is taking a bite out of Google, boasting first-month market share gains while the competition's stronghold slips away! At least, that's what some headlines around the Web might lead you to believe this week.

The truth, though, is that the change is not nearly as dramatic as it appears at a glance. While Bing has, according to certain data, minimally increased Microsoft's search market share, Google's position has not significantly shifted.

Bing vs. Google: The Buzz

All the buzz comes from a new search market analysis by Web stats company StatCounter. Bing, the researchers say, secured 8.23 percent of all U.S.-based searches for the month of June. (Bing officially launched on June 3.) The previous month, StatCounter shows Microsoft sitting at 7.81 percent of U.S. searches. That amounts to a month-to-month increase of just under half a percentage point following Bing's debut.

Google, during that same time span, dropped from 78.72 percent to 78.48 of U.S. searches -- a decrease of 0.24 percent, according to StatCounter's data. Looking back to April, the difference becomes slightly less apt to be obliterated by a sneeze: Google's two-month drop amounts to 0.59 percent, while Microsoft's April-to-June gain comes out to 1.02 percent.

The Bing Picture

The numbers, obviously, are quite small -- but perhaps more important is the fact that zeroing in on such a short period of time makes it difficult to reach any real conclusions. Sticking with StatCounter's data, you'll find that Google's market share has actually fluctuated fairly regularly over the past several months. In March, for example, Google randomly dipped down to 76.49 percent of U.S. searches. Then, it bounced back to 79.08 a month later. Why? Who knows. But it wasn't because of Bing -- that word hadn't even entered our vocabulary as a proper noun at that point.

What this appears to indicate is that, whether as a result of shifting usage or margin of error within the measurement, the numbers do bounce around occasionally. Putting too much stock into a minor two-month change, then, seems a bit premature.

What's more, early metrics from other analytics companies have suggested Google may have actually seen gains as a result of Bing's arrival. Just a couple of weeks ago, the crew from Compete theorized that users were trying Bing but not abandoning their standard search engines and switching allegiance.

In the end, it's simply too soon to call the race; the amounts of change just haven't been significant so far. Bing is far from being out of the running, but it also has yet to complete any awe-inspiring laps.

Maybe some projectile vomit-filled ads are what Bing's campaign is missing. Does anyone have the number for Microsoft's IE marketing department?

Connect with JR Raphael on Twitter (@jr_raphael) or via his Web site, jrstart.com.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

JR Raphael

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?