Kara Swisher

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Nielsen Claims Microsoft's Bing Moves to No. 2 Search Slot Over Yahoo

In what will surely cause a firestorm of controversy in the search arena today, the Nielsen Co. is reporting that–for the first time–Bing has pushed past Yahoo in August to become the No. 2 search engine in the United States.

In its report for August, Nielsen–one of many entities that releases search market share results–said the Microsoft (MSFT) search service had a 13.9 percent share of search volume in August, compared to Yahoo’s 13.1 percent.

That contrasts with the July report from comScore (SCOR), which shows that Bing had an 11 percent share and Yahoo (YHOO) had a 17.1 percent share.

According to comScore, Google (GOOG), of course, remained the Yertle the Turtle of all search, with a 65.8 percent share.

Nielsen reported a similar number, with a 65.1 percent share for Google. That’s up 0.9 percent month over month and 0.5 percent for year over year.

Bing is up 0.2 percent month over month and 3.2 percent compared to a year ago. In contrast, according to Nielsen, Yahoo is down 1.1 percent for the month and 2.8 percent for the year.

AOL (AOL) and Ask.com make up the other four percent of the market.

Here is Nielsen’s month-to-month chart and also its official press release:

Bing Overtakes Yahoo! as the #2 U.S. Search Engine

According to new research released by The Nielsen Company, for the first time, MSN/Windows Live/Bing Search overtakes Yahoo! as the #2 search engine in the U.S., with a 13.9% share of search volume in August 2010, a 0.25% delta increase from last month.

Although Google saw little change in its month-over-month search volume, it still dominates the search market, accounting for 65% of all U.S. searches.

Yahoo! followed Google and MSN/Windows Live/Bing Search with a 13.1% share of U.S. searches, falling from a 14.6% share in July 2010 to 13.1% (a 1.2% delta decrease or an 8% relative decrease).

In terms of a year-over-year comparison, Google has seen little change in its share of search while Yahoo! has seen a small but steady decline, going from a 16% share to 13.1% (a delta drop of 2.9% or a relative drop of 18%). MSN/Windows Live/Bing’s share has grown from 10.7% in August 2009 to 13.9% (a delta increase of 3.2% or a relative increase of 30%).

Bing-powered search

Microsoft and Yahoo announced a search deal in July 2009 where Microsoft would start powering Yahoo! Search while Yahoo! became the exclusive worldwide relationship sales force for both companies’ premium search advertisers. Microsoft Bing officially started powering part of Yahoo! searches starting in August 2010. If we combined Bing-powered search in August, it would represent a 26% share of search.

About our methods

Nielsen’s search data only counts genuine intentional searches that people type into a search box. It does not include non-intended or “contextual” searches that are automatically generated by search engines based on a person’s browsing behavior.

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