Bing: comScore sees Gains; Compete Sees Same Old, Same Old

More early stats are coming in on how searchers are reacting to the Bing launch. comScore shows Microsoft’s Bing search engine continuing to make gains, but Compete shows things remain largely the same.

From comScore, the latest stats show that “searcher penetration” has climbed from 13.7% in the week before it launched, to 15.8% during the launch week to 16.7% for the week after launch. The share of search results pages have risen from 9.1% to 12.1% over the same period. From the comScore press release:

Work Week 5/25/09-5/29/09 6/1/09-6/5/09 6/8/09-6/12/09
Searcher Penetration (Avg. Daily) 13.7% 15.8% 16.7%
Share of Search Result Pages 9.1% 11.3% 12.1%

Searcher Penetration & Share Of Search Results Pages shouldn’t be confused with the standard “search share” figures that comScore or other ratings services typically release. As I wrote earlier when these figures first came out:

I’ve talked with comScore a bit more about the figures. They’re not providing an early look at the usual “share of searches” figure that’s released on a monthly basis, as this is something they want clients to have a first look at.

The “Share Of Search Results Pages” figure above runs closely akin to that, they say – so Microsoft’s Bing might have picked up 2% share of the searches “pie.” However, keep in mind that if the pie itself gets larger because of new searches, other players can lose share even if the overall raw number of searches increases.

To me, the more interesting figure is the “Searcher Penetration,” which shows of everyone searching on the web, what percentage at some point made it to a particular search engine on a daily basis. Microsoft managed to get 15.5% of searchers over to check it out, up from 13.8% the week before – a 1.7% gain. comScore tells me that Google and Yahoo also had penetration gains, but that Microsoft’s gain was on the order of double of the others.

And how could everyone gain? Penetration for any particular search engine can be up to 100%, as people use more than one search engine. So (purely for example) Google could have a 80% penetration, Yahoo 60% and Microsoft 30% — which would show most people use Google, but plenty also use Yahoo and some use also Microsoft.

Meanwhile, Compete has also sent me stats. Below, “Search Engine Users Share,” the percentage of all searchers in the United States who went to one or more of the services below (since they could go to more than one, the overall percentages add to more than 100%):

Day Google Yahoo Microsoft Ask AOL Other
5/28/09 72.6% 22.1% 9.4% 4.7% 1.9% 0.2%
5/29/09 72.3% 22.1% 9.2% 4.5% 2.0% 0.2%
5/30/09 72.1% 23.0% 8.7% 5.0% 2.0% 0.2%
5/31/09 72.6% 22.3% 8.8% 5.3% 2.2% 0.2%
6/1/09 73.2% 22.1% 11.8% 4.6% 1.9% 0.2%
6/2/09 73.7% 22.0% 11.0% 4.0% 2.1% 0.3%
6/3/09 73.7% 21.8% 11.3% 3.9% 2.0% 0.2%
6/4/09 73.1% 22.1% 11.7% 3.8% 1.9% 0.2%
6/5/09 72.6% 22.5% 12.1% 3.7% 2.0% 0.2%
6/6/09 72.7% 22.8% 11.0% 4.2% 2.0% 0.3%
6/7/09 73.1% 22.6% 10.8% 4.0% 2.0% 0.2%
6/8/09 73.3% 22.2% 11.8% 3.7% 2.0% 0.2%
6/9/09 73.2% 22.2% 11.4% 3.7% 1.9% 0.2%
6/10/09 73.4% 22.2% 11.3% 3.8% 1.9% 0.2%
6/11/09 73.3% 21.9% 11.2% 3.8% 2.0% 0.3%
6/12/09 72.7% 22.1% 11.3% 3.8% 1.9% 0.2%
6/13/09 72.3% 22.5% 11.2% 4.0% 2.1% 0.2%
6/14/09 73.0% 22.2% 10.9% 4.0% 2.0% 0.2%

The bold line marks the Bing launch, and you can see Microsoft immediately gains 3% — but this doesn’t come at the expense of the other search engines. People were checking out Bing in addition to visiting their regular services. Since the launch, Bing’s had a high of 12.1% share (also in bold) but mainly hovers at the 11% mark.

Unlike comScore, Compete has release standard share of searches figures. These are below. The show what percentage of searches are handled by each of the major search engines. While people may search at more than one search engine, the overall “pie” of searches that happen on a given day is finite — so the percentages do not add up to more than 100%. Bold marks the launch day for Bing (figures before that reflect searches at MSN and Windows Live):

Day Google Yahoo! MSFT Ask AOL Other
5/24/09 70.0% 16.8% 9.7% 2.4% 0.8% 0.2%
5/25/09 71.7% 16.6% 8.4% 2.3% 0.9% 0.2%
5/26/09 72.9% 16.1% 7.7% 2.3% 0.8% 0.2%
5/27/09 71.6% 15.9% 9.1% 2.5% 0.8% 0.1%
5/28/09 72.2% 16.0% 8.2% 2.7% 0.8% 0.1%
5/29/09 71.9% 16.6% 8.3% 2.3% 0.8% 0.1%
5/30/09 71.5% 16.7% 8.0% 2.8% 0.9% 0.2%
5/31/09 72.1% 15.8% 8.2% 2.8% 0.9% 0.2%
6/1/09 73.1% 15.4% 8.0% 2.5% 0.8% 0.1%
6/2/09 73.2% 16.1% 7.6% 2.1% 0.8% 0.1%
6/3/09 73.8% 15.6% 7.8% 2.0% 0.8% 0.1%
6/4/09 72.5% 16.5% 8.0% 2.1% 0.7% 0.1%
6/5/09 72.2% 16.5% 8.4% 2.0% 0.8% 0.1%
6/6/09 72.3% 16.5% 8.2% 2.0% 0.9% 0.2%
6/7/09 72.4% 16.6% 7.9% 2.1% 0.8% 0.1%
6/8/09 72.6% 16.7% 8.0% 1.8% 0.8% 0.1%
6/9/09 73.0% 16.3% 8.1% 1.8% 0.7% 0.1%
6/10/09 72.1% 16.8% 8.3% 2.0% 0.8% 0.1%
6/11/09 73.4% 15.7% 8.0% 2.0% 0.8% 0.1%
6/12/09 72.2% 16.4% 8.3% 2.2% 0.8% 0.1%
6/13/09 71.5% 17.2% 8.1% 2.2% 0.9% 0.1%
6/14/09 71.7% 17.0% 8.2% 2.1% 0.9% 0.2%

As you can see, Compete’s figures show that the launch has created no gain in search share. Compete has some additional charts through June 8 here.

Over at Hitwise, there aren’t share figures in terms of search, but you can see how Bing is now among the top 20 most popular web sites in the US and is considered the 4th most popular search engine. Of course, I think Live Search (which Bing replaced) was also among the most popular sites — and I’m pretty sure it was the 3rd most popular search engine. So the changes don’t mean that much when you know the context. And does that mean Bing is less popular than Live Search? Almost certainly not. I suspect there’s still a lot of data consolidation that has yet to happen with the Hitwise figures.

Meanwhile, Efficient Frontier — which handles paid search campaigns for many large companies — found a 19.8% lift in impressions for Bing. That’s not a 19.8% share. That’s the difference between the percentage who visited Bing before the launch compared to afterward. What the actual impression share was isn’t given.

These figures are all prelminary, and while we’re all anxious to know how things are going, it’s going to take months to really assess the situation.

The first true benchmark will be the more standard figures for June and especially the months after that. A rise in June wouldn’t be surprising, given the amount of marketing that’s going on. But when the marketing levels off or decreases in the following months, will it have done the job to keep searchers.

But before we get June, May figures are coming in. From Nielsen (PDF), the share of searches handled in the US by the major three players:

  • Google: 63.2%
  • Yahoo: 17.2%
  • Microsoft: 9.4%

As for comScore, financial analysts get stats before the general press, and sometimes those leak out. For May, Business Insider has figures from comScore that JP Morgan’s Imran Khan put out:

  • Google: 65.0%
  • Yahoo: 20.1%
  • Microsoft: 8.0%

For a long term view of search share, see my Search Market Share 2008: Google Grew, Yahoo & Microsoft Dropped & Stabilized post. Also see related discussion on Techmeme.

Related Topics: Channel: Strategy | Features: Analysis | Microsoft: Bing | Stats: Compete | Stats: comScore | Stats: Hitwise | Stats: NetRatings | Stats: Popularity | Top News

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About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn



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