Report: Google Has Nothing To Fear From Bing Itself

The only thing Google has to fear is fear itself. The immortal words of Franklin Delano Roosevelt sum up the findings of a J.P. Morgan report published today and shared with Search Engine Land, “Understanding the Impact of Bing on the Search Industry.” (It’s available to the company’s clients at The bottom line: Of 763 people (ages 18 and up) surveyed, roughly 98% will not be making Bing their primary search engine.

Microsoft budgeted $80 million to promote Bing — some of which seemed to be money well-spent, and some not so well-spent. The J.P. Morgan study shows that Microsoft’s publicity blitz worked to some degree: 59% of respondents had heard of Bing. But out of that group, only 42% had tried it — that represents only 25% of the overall survey respondents. It suggests that Microsoft’s ad campaign reached people, but didn’t convince many to give Bing a try. In fact, it seems there was a lot of “tasting” going on: Of the people who tried Bing, 61% used it five times or less during June.


Further, the study showed that searchers who gave Bing a try during weren’t switching from Google (nor from Yahoo, to a lesser degree) — they mainly came from AOL and Ask.


According to the report, Microsoft’s biggest barrier is that most searchers are happy these days. Some 63% of respondents said they see no weaknesses in their current search experience. J.P. Morgan estimates that Bing will only see a 2.3% growth in overall market share going forward. It’s not unlike the recent findings from a small focus group in New York that suggested searchers liked Bing, but those using Google wouldn’t switch. Google CEO Eric Schmidt may have been right when he went on TV and said Bing can’t buy search share, they’ll have to earn it.

The study was done between July 3rd and July 6th — about a month after Bing launched. The 763 people who replied were remarkably representative of the Internet population as a whole: 62% said Google was their primary search engine, 23% said it was Yahoo, and 7% said it was Bing. Those figures are right in line with the regular statistics published by companies like Hitwise, comScore, and Nielsen.

Ultimately, while the study offers a strong peak into searcher behavior, it’s important to remember that Bing is only a month old and habits are hard to break. As Danny Sullivan wrote yesterday, we’re still in “too early to say” territory, and any conclusions about Bing’s future are probably premature.

Related Topics: Channel: Strategy | Microsoft: Bing | Stats: Search Behavior | Top News


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • Randy Zorn

    They really did an amazing job as building buzz around the product. I wonder what will come and if they can continue to grow.

  • Brand Brand

    I think that it’s to early to write off I think that they have some interesting features. You should take a look at the video previews that get generated when you hold your mouse over a video. I don’t know how they make them so descriptive.

    Also, I can’t complain because they optimized my video;
    for the keyword “Buy Advertising”

  • nickstamoulis

    I think it is crazy that Microsoft is spending $80 million in media to try to get people using Bing…they should have launched this engine in 2001 in they could have had a fighting chance…

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