RealTime IT News

Bing's Big Week, Search Share Ticks Up

Microsoft's Live Search replacement, Bing, had a solid first day last week, according to one Web metrics firm. Now, a second firm says its research has found that Bing has had a solid first week.

According to a statement by tracking firm comScore, in its first week, Bing increased Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT) search engine market penetration from 13.8 percent in a five day period in May to 15.5 percent in the period of June 2 through 6, an increase of 1.7 percent.

Last Thursday, Bing was the second-place search engine worldwide, according to net metrics tracking firm StatCounter, which claims to monitor "in excess of ten billion page loads per month [globally]."

Much of the world -- at least the part of it that's interested in search market share -- has been waiting to see whether Bing will actually accomplish what Microsoft has been struggling for over the past several years. That is, to put Microsoft in second place ahead of Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO).

Microsoft initially said it would make Bing publicly available worldwide as of Wednesday, June 3, but beat that goal -- at least for many users -- by going live as of June 1.

So if Microsoft gained in those five days, who lost? ComScore isn't giving out much more information, saying it has to save most of it for paying clients. However, a comScore spokesperson did share a hint.

"In terms of market share, it [Bing] pulled proportionately from the other search engines," the spokesperson told InternetNews.com. "Google has the biggest share so Bing would be pulling more from the bigger one [Google]," the spokesperson added.

In fact, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) held a 64.2 percent share of US searches in April, while Yahoo had 20.4 percent, and Microsoft had 8.2 percent, according to comScore.

However, due to the fact that both sets of numbers were calculated differently, the percentages do not allow for an apples-to-apples comparison, comScore's spokesperson cautioned.

One thing, however, will make Bing popular, said one analyst. Microsoft has chosen four areas where it feels it has specific expertise -- shopping, local, health, and travel. Besides Bing providing general search capabilities, Bing also focuses on those four.

Why? "The four areas are where the money is," Charlene Li, founder and president of Altimeter Group, told InternetNews.com. That is, advertisers like to spend money where people are spending money.

"If I want to research my trip to Hawaii, that's [Bing Travel] totally a place I'd spend money, Li said.