Microsoft Bing booming; Yahoo appears in its sights

Research reports disagree on whether Bing is trailing or leading Yahoo

Reports released this week showed that Microsoft Corp.'s Bing search tool continues to gain ground in the search engine wars, but how much ground is a bit up in the air.

For the second time since Bing's launch just over a month ago, StatCounter Global Stats, which analyzes Web site traffic, reported that the new search engine's market share has passed that of the Yahoo search tool. According to the StatCounter report released today, Bing held a 12.9 per cent share of the U.S. search market, while rival Yahoo held 10.15 per cent at the start of July.

Both Microsoft and Yahoo are still well behind market behemoth Google, which commands just about 75 per cent of the market, according to the report.

The traffic tracker had reported last month that Bing had surpassed Yahoo on one day shortly after its June 1 launch.

Aodhan Cullen, CEO of StatCounter, said in a statement that the latest figures may have resulted from a positive review of Bing that appeared on the New York Times Web site on July 8 and in its print edition a day later. "While its lead over Yahoo may not last into next week, our data suggests that it is slowly but surely closing the gap."

Meanwhile Hitwise Pty., which measures online traffic, released a report yesterday showing that Bing's market share, while growing, still trails far behind Yahoo.

According to Hitwise's latest research, Google held 74.04 per cent of the search market in June, while Yahoo had 16.19 per cent and Bing 5.25 per cent. Bing did note that Bing's use grew by an average of 25 per cent during each week in June.

Microsoft and Google have been going head to head a lot lately. Microsoft threw its hat into the ring to take on Google's dominant search service, and just this week Google made a move to fire its own salvo back at Microsoft. Google pulled back the curtain and acknowledged that its working on putting out an operating system aimed at netbooks and PCs. And analysts say Google is the company in the best position to take on Microsoft and its vaunted Windows software.

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Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld
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