Not With a Bing, but a Whimper III

Published on October 1, 2009
by John Paczkowski

bingle Microsoft’s efforts to bolster Bing’s market share are no longer paying off as well as they have been. After months of slight but steady increases in market share, Bing’s percentage of the search market in the United States and abroad fell in September for the first time.

New metrics from Web analytics firm StatCounter show Bing’s share of the U.S. search market in September falling to 8.5 percent from 9.6 percent in August. Its share of the global market declined as well, slipping to 3.25 percent from 3.58 percent.

Microsoft’s (MSFT) new search partner, Yahoo (YHOO), also suffered a decline. Its market share fell to 9.4 percent from 10.50 percent in the U.S. and to 4.37 percent from 4.84 abroad. Meanwhile, Google’s (GOOG) September share rose to 80 percent from 77.8 percent in the U.S. and to 90.54 percent from 90 percent globally. (See chart below; click to enlarge.)

“The trend has been downwards for Bing since mid August,” StatCounter CEO Aodhan Cullen said in a statement. “The wheels haven’t fallen off but the underlying trend must be a little worrying for Microsoft.”

Mmm, I doubt it. 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 declines in market share are quite common. Furthermore, we haven’t yet seen search metrics from Nielsen, comScore (SCOR), and Hitwise. And all three showed Bing gaining share in August, a month that Statcounter claimed shows the beginning of a downward trend.

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