Posted April 12, 2011 8:19 am by with 8 comments

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I wrote a while back to wake me up when Bing powered search (combined market share of Yahoo and Bing search) reached 40%. Well, in March a new plateau was reached as the two search entities combined to hit 30% so I may now have one eye open. Experian’s Hitwise reports these numbers.

This is a good sign for Bing powered search as Google’s slip in share looks to be directly contributable to the increase in searches using the Bing search engine. The next step that Bing needs to see is a true second place position over Yahoo. Bing has poured untold millions into building its brand while Yahoo is just coasting on what it gained long ago. In fact, what advertising do you see about Yahoo search? I don’t see any but then again I also don’t see it all by a long shot.

While the Bing numbers look impressive and they are doing things to improve the search experience for end users and businesses alike, it’s important to remember that to credit this combined number to Bing is more of an industry and PR play than anything else. I would bet dollars to donuts that most Yahoo search users don’t have a clue that Bing powers the search results for the former Internet powerhouse.

Since most searchers don’t make it past the first few organic results in many cases it’s even more unlikely that they would see the microscopic “Powered by Bing” at the very bottom of the SERP to let them know. Then take it step further and accept the fact that they just don’t care.

So the progress is good because these monthly slips in Google’s death grip on search share will hopefully make Google more vigilant. While it has never been said directly one has to wonder if the Larry Page as CEO era wasn’t spurred on by the evidence that Google may have been getting fat and happy and simply needed a wake up call.

So we’ll ask our monthly question, do you think that Bing has a real chance to challenge Google? If you are an SEO, are Bing and Yahoo getting your attention yet? Will they be able to help searchers break the “Google habit” and maybe even more importantly, will they be able to do it at Bing or will they continue to use the “Bing Powered” search tag to put up bigger numbers?

  • I have been seeing more traffic from Bing in the past two months, a very noticeable difference each month with a healthy conversion rate!

  • If Bing continues to chip away at Google’s market share, Google is once again going to have to prove that they are the leader in the search industry. It’s hard to be competitive when there is no competition. Maybe if Bing keeps gaining market share, Google will really hone back in on what makes them successful.

  • dean

    In a weird way this is also good news for Google. Given recent FTC anti-trust investigations, having Bing (or anyone) increase market share plays into Google’s defense. I am sure Google is willing to cede a “little” market share to take the heat off a full-blown anti-trust investigation. I know “little” can translate into millions of dollars in the search industry but still wonder if this is a silver lining for Google.

  • These numbers are really meaningless, as they have been for years, because they are just measuring page views — not how much traffic either Google or Bing actually sends to other Websites.

    That said, I’m pretty confident that Google’s Panda algorithm is reflected in that decline in page views because I as a searcher have had to spend less time searching for content on Google.

    I applaud any actual growth on Bing’s part if there was some — I think they have a good search engine and more people should use it.

    But what most people don’t seem to understand is that the vast majority of Google’s users DO use Bing and other search services each month. It’s not like either Google or Bing has a large core audience that only uses their services.

  • I have not seen much difference in my results mix. however My sites are all now ranking higher in the Bing searches than they are in Google listing so I wish everyone would use Bing !!!

  • Personally I am rooting for Bing. Google needs a push and like Michael alluded to, Bing actually has some pretty cool stuff they do with their SERPs. hey have decided to partner with the likes of FanSnap and Kayak to utilize their smarts vs trying to build everything themselves. This can speed their growth and also make them a more dynamic player. of course, it is risky too. All in all though I wold love to see Bing make a serious run at Google. The way that will happen though is if the average Joe uses them and I am not sure just how far they have gotten with the masses.

  • I think Bing’s successful growth is because of it’s collaboration with Facebook. Since millions of people around the world use Facebook, they use the internal search engine and just use Bing’s search results.

  • If Bing would only have a bigger marketshare in Germany… Google currently seems to be really bad in separating good sites from scraper BS. Unfortunately…