Bing Loses a Point in September Searches

After a flurry of immediate interest among Web users in the newest search engine on the block, Microsoft’s Bing posted its first decline in search ranking.

According to the latest figures from Web analytics firm StatCounter, Bing slipped more than a point in the search engine rankings in September. It was the first month-over-month decline for Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) new search engine since the company debuted the search engine in early June.

“Bing’s share of the U.S. search market in September fell by over one percentage point to 8.51 percent from 9.64 percent in August,” a statement from StatCounter said.

Competitor and partner Yahoo’s search engine saw a drop in its market share in the latest survey, as well.

“There was little consolation for Microsoft from the performance of its new partner, Yahoo, which also declined, to 9.40 percent from 10.50 percent,” the statement continued.

A raft of analytics firms have been tracking Bing’s slow but upwards progress since it debuted, but most of its small gains have come at the expense of Yahoo to date.

This time, however, the beneficiary of Bing’s and Yahoo’s losses was king of the hill, Google, which swelled more than two points from 77.83 percent in August to 80.08 percent in September, StatCounter said.

That’s not good news considering the deal that Microsoft struck with Yahoo in late July whereby — once it’s OK’d by regulators — Yahoo will use Bing to perform searches on its sites and, in return, Microsoft will share in some of the search revenue. In the process, both would benefit against Google.

By StatCounter’s numbers, in June, Yahoo’s and Bing’s combined market share of U.S. searches came to 19.27 percent while, in July, that jumped more than a point to 20.36 percent.

However, in August, the combined totals slipped slightly to 20.14 percent on Yahoo’s declining presence. Now in September, the partners’ share has slid to 17.91 percent.

When it was first launched, Bing ended up as the second-place search engine, if only briefly, on two occasions — not unexpected given the hype surrounding Bing’s introduction. Now that the initial excitement may have worn off, however, the situation’s changed.

Bing’s and Yahoo’s positions on a global scale are not faring much better.

Worldwide, Bing’s share in September slipped from 3.58 percent in August to 3.25 percent, while Yahoo slid nearly a half point from 4.84 percent in August to 4.37 percent in September. Google, meanwhile, “breached the 90 percent mark,” topping out at 90.54 percent, StatCounter said.

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