Chicago (IL) – Microsoft’s Bing search engine gained some ground on Google and Yahoo in June. It may only be marginal at first sight, but if we remember that Microsoft’s search sites have been virtually defenseless against Google for several years, the first result could be considered a huge success. But then we also know that Microsoft has a long, long road ahead until it may be able to actually challenge Google with a significant share of the market.
According to Comscore, Microsoft came in at 8.4% of the search engine market in June, up from 8.0% in May. Google remained at 65.0% and Yahoo dropped from 20.1% in May to 19.6% in June. Microsoft’s 0.4 point gain is not that significant in absolute numbers and apparently reportedly has had no effect on a redistribution advertising revenues, which Microsoft is targeting, but it has been critical for Microsoft to halt a multi-year trend.
One year ago, Google’s share was estimated by Comscore at only 61.5%, followed by Yahoo with 20.9% and Microsoft with 9.2%. At the end of 2007, Google held only 58.4%, Yahoo 22.9% and Microsoft 9.8%. In that view, a 0.4% gain is substantial, even if the overall gain is much less than the 10-13% that had been expected by analysts. However, July may offer a different picture as it is the first full month of Bing being online. Yusuf Mehdi, senior vice president, of the Online Audience Business Group at Microsoft, recently said that Microsoft saw an 8% growth in unique users to Bing.com in June.
We are still waiting for the search engine rankings from Nielsen Netratings, but the market research firm already released data that shows that Microsoft has a long way to go to close the gap with Google. In Nielsen’s web brand ranking, MSN/WindowsLive/Bing came in as the U.S. Internet’s second most important brand, with 139.1 million unique visitors who spent an average of 132 minutes on Microsoft sites during the month. Google leads with 155.6 million unique visitors and an average time spent of 151 minutes.