Bing overtakes Yahoo in global search wars

In matter of days, Microsoft's search passes Yahoo for No. 2 spot behind Google

It didn't take very long - less than a week - for Microsoft Corp.'s Bing to surpass Yahoo Inc. to become the number two search engine in the U.S. and worldwide.

A report from StatCounter Global Stats, which analyzes Web site traffic, also shows that Bing grabbed some market share from rival Google Inc. StatCounter analyzed search engine use on Thursday and found that while Google still dominates the U.S. search engine market with a 71.47% share, Bing grabbed 16.28% and Yahoo came in third with 10.22%.

"It remains to be seen if Bing falls away after the initial novelty and promotion but at first sight it looks like Microsoft is on to a winner," said Aodhan Cullen, CEO of StatCounter, in a statement. "Steve Ballmer is quoted as saying that he wanted Microsoft to become the second biggest search engine within five years. Following the breakdown in talks to acquire Yahoo at a cost of $40 billion, it looks as if he may have just achieved that with Bing much sooner and a lot cheaper than anticipated."

Microsoft first took the wrappers off Bing -- which they're trying to dub a "decision" engine, rather than a search engine -- on May 28. at the All Things Digital Conference in Carlsbad, Calif. The company had initially said the service would be up and running June 3, but had it operational two days early.

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

According to StatCounter, the plan might be working, at least at the outset.

In the worldwide search engine market, Bing is holding its own. StatCounter reported that Bing grabbed 5.62% of the market, squeaking past Yahoo, which has 5.13%. Google still dominates, though, with 87.62%.

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Sharon Gaudin

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