Bing Takes a Little Bite Out of Google

Microsoft’s Bing search engine again slowly inched its way higher on the ratings scale in August, according to the latest figures from industry watcher comScore.

However, instead of repeating July’s performance by taking market share away from Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO), the second-place search engine and a major Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) partner, this time Bing has been showing some growth at industry leader Google’s expense.

Bing picked up nearly a half a point of market share from July’s comScore figures at 9.3 percent, up from 8.9 the month before. Meanwhile, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) lost 0.1 percent from the previous month, bringing its August ranking in at 64.6 percent.

Yahoo, by comparison, held steady at 19.3 percent in both July and August.

Web analytics firm comScore (NASDAQ: SCOR) tracks search engine use based on U.S. searches performed each month.

Given that Google lost only a sliver of share and Yahoo lost none, where did Bing’s gains come from?

According to comScore’s figures, the total of all U.S. searches grew by 2.6 percent month-to-month in August, and was up 19.2 percent from a year earlier.

Chicago-based comScore will release its full slate of August search figures later in the day Tuesday.

Microsoft introduced its new Bing search engine in late May. It has generally gained ground month-to-month since it debuted.

However, although Bing’s market share is slowly growing, it still hovers around 10 percent while Yahoo’s is running close to 20 percent.

In July, Microsoft picked up 0.5 percent share to give it a total of 8.9 percent, up from 8.4 percent in June — Bing’s first full month of use. Yahoo’s share in July shrank by 0.3 percent to 19.3 percent, down from June’s 19.6 percent. Google also lost 0.3 percent share in July to give it 64.7 percent, down from 65 percent in June.

On July 29, Microsoft and Yahoo announced a deal whereby Microsoft’s Bing will become the underlying search technology on Yahoo’s sites. In return, Yahoo will share some of the advertising revenue for those sites with Microsoft. The ten-year agreement is currently under regulatory review in the U.S. The European Commission has not said whether it needs to review the agreement.

The deal, if it passes regulatory approval, would not kick into gear until at least next year. However, using comScore’s August figures, the combined search ranking vis-à-vis Google would give the partners a 28.6 percent share, roughly half of Google’s share.

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