Not With a Bing, but a Whimper IV
Looks like Bing’s steady upward trend of market share gains may have reversed itself. Microsoft’s new search engine saw its U.S. search share fall to 8.99 percent in September from 9.49 percent in August, according to figures from Hitwise (see table below; click to enlarge).
Troubling news for Microsoft (MSFT). Hitwise’s latest numbers are the second set of metrics from a Web analytics firm showing Bing’s market share in decline. Last week, StatCounter claimed Bing’s share of the U.S. search market in September had slipped to 8.5 percent from 9.6 percent in August.
As I noted then, while a month of slight decline might herald the beginning of a trend, it certainly doesn’t guarantee one–especially in search, where surges and lulls in market share are quite common. That said, this is the second set of data suggesting that Bing’s traffic may be leveling out. Whether this reflects the end of the big Bing marketing campaign or falling consumer interest remains to be seen.
Incidentally, Microsoft’s new search partner, Yahoo (YHOO), also saw its search share slip for the month, according to Hitwise. Yahoo claimed 16.96 percent in August. In September, it claimed 16.38 percent. Meanwhile, Google (GOOG) took 71.08 percent share for the month, up from 70.24 percent in August.