comScore: Bing Barely Gaines Share In June 2009

Now a third major ratings service has released search engine share figures for June 2009, and like the others, they show that Bing made only a tiny gain in the wake of its launch and major ad campaign.

The comScore figures have gone out to the financial analyst community, and the comScore press release with them usually arrives a week after that. But Mark Mahaney at Citigroup gave permission to cite figures in his report, which includes analysis for investors (too early to call, Bing has a “solid product” but faces “large uphill battle”).

For June 2009, here’s the search share handled by each of the major players in the United States:

  • Google: 65.0%, unchanged from May 2009
  • Yahoo: 19.6%, down from 20.1%, a 0.5% drop
  • Bing: 8.4%, up from 8.0%, a 0.4% rise
  • Ask: 3.9%, unchanged from May 2009
  • AOL: 3.1%, unchanged from May 209

In terms of search volume, actual number of searches handled:

  • Google: 9.135 billion, down from 9.307 billion, a 172 million search drop
  • Yahoo: 2.755 billion, down from 2.877 billion, a 122 million search drop
  • Bing: 1.179 billion, up from 1.149 billion, a 30 million rise
  • Ask: 552 million, down from 555 million, a 3 million drop
  • AOL: 439 million, down form 438 million, a 1 million drop

The volume figures are important. With Bing showing a 0.4% rise in share, while Yahoo shows a 0.5% drop, it’s easy to assume that Bing “stole” share from Yahoo. However, what happens each month is that the overall “pie” of searches gets larger or smaller in general. In the summer, the pie often shrinks as people are out of school and not searching as much.

So Yahoo’s drop? The 122 million searches that it lost didn’t all flow into Bing, which shows a 30 million rise. Of course, normally you’d also have expected Bing to also have shown a summer drop. That’s also important to consider, in fully measuring the gain. For example, if it had normally fallen by 50 million searches, then to show a 30 million rise would mean in reality an 80 million overall gain.

Aren’t interpreting stats fun? Suffice to say, Bing did well to be up, but it’s uncertain who they pulled away from (especially since the Bing marketing and publicity might have generated “new” searches that wouldn’t normally have existed), and we remain very much in watch and see mode.

For those keeping score at home, here’s how it looks with the other rating services, on a share and gain basis, with June 2009 cited first, then May 2009 and the change:

  • comScore: 8.4%, up from 8.0%, a 0.4% rise
  • Compete: 6.2%, up from 6.5%, a tiny 0.3% gain
  • Hitwise: 5.25%, down from 5.64, a .039% drop

On a weekly basis, Hitwise found a rise from the beginning of the month in June to the end of the month. More on that in the related stories below:

For those who want an early peak into July, here’s the past five days of share data from Compete:

Date 7/8 7/9 7/10 7/11 7/12
Google 72.3% 72.0% 71.1% 71.8% 72.4%
Yahoo 15.5% 15.4% 15.6% 15.5% 15.9%
Bing 6.4% 6.7% 7.2% 6.6% 6.6%
Ask 3.1% 3.2% 3.1% 3.4% 3.1%
AOL 0.8% 0.9% 0.9% 0.9% 0.7%
Others 0.1% 0.1% 0.1% 0.2% 0.1%

Bing figures don’t include searches at Club Bing, which add about another 1.5% or so share, roughly. Bing started June in the 5.5% to 6.0% range, so it’s picked up about 1% share according to Compete, since June.

As I keep saying, while there’s a temptation to draw conclusions from the early figures, we really want to see what happens around October and November. People will be back from school then, the months will be more “regular” in nature and the Bing marketing campaign will likely have ended or ramped down. Will word-of-mouth have spread by then? Will behaviors have changed?

Related Topics: Channel: Strategy | Features: Analysis | Microsoft: Marketing | Stats: Compete | Stats: comScore | Stats: Popularity | Top News


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.

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  • nickstamoulis

    This is very interesting data to see and I agree that Bing really does have an “large uphill battle”, time will tell if Bing will become the next…

  • PosiTracker

    It will be interesting to see what happens after the honeymoon period is over.

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