The San Jose Mercury-News has a long article on Microsoft Bing!’s (or it is Bing’s!?) growth as a search engine a year after its release.
Bing! has reached 12.7% of market share, up about four percentage points from its initial market penetration; about half of the subsequent growth appears to have come from Yahoo.
The market share results are from ComScore, which reported in February 2009 that Google’s U. S. market share was 63.3% (other market analysts report different figures, so I’ll stick just with one for linear comparisons); the Mercury-News reports that ComScore rates Google’s current share at 62.6%, indicating that, if Google were Bing!’s (I’ll stick with that spelling) primary target, it has missed.
Nevertheless, Bing! has gotten Google’s attention. From the Mercury-News:
Still, in scoring wins such as becoming the first major search engine to allow people to search the ongoing, real-time stream of posts on Twitter and Facebook, Bing appears to have prompted Google to at least sit up and take notice.
Last month, Google abruptly cut short what was to be a 24-hour experiment in which its home page displayed colorful Bing-like photos of nature and exotic locales, saying “a bug” had caused an explanation of the experiment to be omitted from the home page.
The change to Google’s sacrosanct home page was unprecedented and apparently upset many users. The blogosphere quickly erupted with references to the “Bing-envy” and “Bing-ification” of Google.
Unexplored in the story is the effect of Microsoft’s efforts to make Bing! the default search engine in various applications.
Based on the numbers, Bing! seems to have found a niche, but it has not been the game-changer that I am certain Microsoft was wishing for.