Internet Search Race - Bing Gains Ground

Includes: GOOG, MSFT, YHOO
by: Seth Gilbert

search measureWith internet traffic and usage, there are any of number of firms that track behavior. ComScore, Nielsen, Quantcast, and Pew, to name a handful. Each tries to provide insight into what’s popular, what’s growing – where the trends are. Each can be valuable but each can have its limitations too.

From one to the next, results can often differ in the detail. And even within the results of a single firm’s measurements, a pattern appearing in a short period of time often disappears across a broader swath.

Such is the nature of statistics. As an old saying aptly puts it: facts are stubborn but statistics pliable. Slice 'em up or sort ‘em the right way and you can tell a lot of different stories.

That said, disclaimers thrown front and center, comScore released its search engine marketshare measurements for July on Monday. (release)

For the second month in a row, Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) new search engine Bing, gained ground. Up from 8.4% in June, comScore reported Bing took 8.9% in July.

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comscore july search

Both Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) dropped slightly. Google came in at 64.7% (down from 65% in June) and Yahoo claimed 19.3% (down from 19.6%).

The results for Microsoft are surely encouraging. The company has been advertising Bing aggressively and is likely reaping some reward from that promotion.

The question is: will the growth last? Will Bing stick with web searchers? The comScore info can’t answer that. At this point it is still much too early to craft any long term prognosis.

The only secure bet to make is that August will likely be another good month for Bing as well. It will probably pick up a few more basis points. For the month, the search engine should be able to rely on the combination of continued advertising, "back to school” related traffic volume increases, and probably an increased awareness stemming from Microsoft and Yahoo’s search partnership announcement in late July to push it forward.

Will Bing still be gaining ground come October or November? We’ll see in a few months.