Daniel Eran Dilger
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Web search statistics show Bing stagnant, Google growing

Google Yahoo Bing global market share

Prince McLean, AppleInsider

Following a press release from ComScore indicating that Microsoft has approached 10% market share with Bing, more comprehensive search statistics indicate that Bing’s growth and share of web search is being wildly overstated.

Web search statistics show Bing stagnant, Google growing
ComScore’s October “US Core Search” rankings made headlines in suggesting that Microsoft’s Bing, combined with the company’s other search properties, have incrementally amassed a significant share of US search, now at 9.9%.

However, ComScore’s press release points out in small type that “searches for mapping, local directory, and user-generated video sites that are not on the core domain of the five search engines are not included in the core search numbers.”

Microsoft doesn’t have a big share of the mapping, local directory, and user generated search market. By removing this from its “core” rankings, ComScore greatly inflates Bing’s importance, because the vast majority search related to maps, local search, and “user generated video” (why not just say “YouTube”) are all owned by Google. Microsoft’s own “Soapbox” effort to match Google’s YouTube failed and was shut down in August after a three year run.

When looking at more neutral statistics that don’t gerrymander figures to arrive at a desired conclusion, the facts are very different.

Net Application’s search engine market share figures have been tracking the industry since at least 2000. For October 2009, the latest full month recorded, it gave Microsoft Bing just a 3.49% share of all search globally, along with 0.08% share for MSN Search and 0.01% share for Microsoft Live Search. Yahoo Search took second place with 6.68%, leaving the lion’s share for Google at 84.53%.

This establishes the trend AppleInsider reported this summer that despite glowing press releases for Bing, Google keeps eating away more and more of the web search market globally, while Microsoft and Yahoo continue to remain stagnant.

As the chart below shows, in the four years between 2004 and 2008, Google incrementally shifted from having almost 60% share to having a dominating +75% share, while Yahoo fell from 18.5% to 12.7% and Microsoft fell from 14% to 6.3%.

Over the last two years since, Google has continued to gain share while Yahoo’s dropped to the current figure of 6.7% and Microsoft’s Bing, MSN and Live Search combined amounted to just 3.5% of the global web search market.

Google Yahoo Bing global market share

  • Ludor

    Thank you for providing. Much needed perspective. Lately, I’ve realized how MS-centric Scandinavian media really are, and boy, they regurgitate press releases like ComScore’s as if it was the green grass on Windows XP’s default desktop image.

  • gus2000

    I take perverse pleasure in checking out Bing by clicking through from the ads on this site. Oh, the irony.

  • beanie

    The comScore press release says Bing number of queries are up 8% in Oct from Sep and had 1.245 billion queries compared to 1.156 billion queries. The top part of release was comparing the top 5 search engines only.

    The comScore release did not use any “tiny type” for the notice and used one font size. The top of the release was comparing the five top search engines. The bottom of the release has an expanded search query comparison with other engines.

    At the bottom of the release, it says YouTube generated 3.7 billion queries for Oct. But Google has not been able to monetize YouTube. Core searches, at the moment, is where the money is.

  • http://www.adviespraktijk.info Berend Schotanus

    Another commendable edition in your series of correcting misinformation.

    It reminds me of one of the more interesting lessons in history: that about “information” in wartime. It appears to be a more or less constant fact that no army will ever admit its losses on the battlefield. German news services in 1944 have reported about ever greater victories of the proud national army with the slight complication that these victories occurred closer to home each time. And we all know the surrealistic video of the Iraqi minister of information declaring victory over America on the very same day Bagdad had to surrender.
    The conclusion of historians is that an objective view on occurrences is not possible while it happens, that it takes time to reach a balanced view. But then again this conclusion might be slightly biased by the historians profession. ;-)

  • http://crankyoldnutcase.blogspot.com/ The Mad Hatter

    It doesn’t get a lot of play (in fact I get the impression that no one knows about it, but Cuil is useful sometimes. Beyond that, there really aren’t a lot of English language search engines left, and this isn’t good. It’s not that Google doesn’t do a good job, it’s just that I feel uncomfortable having that much search going through one provider. We need more search engines. And we need Yahoo to stay independent.

    As to Bing – I’ve tried it, and it is a total disaster. Search for anything Linux or OSX related, and the search results are all Windows. Anyone who messes with my search results that way, doesn’t get my business.

  • gus2000

    Contest: find the shortest Bing search whose top hit is RDM, without using either the site name or author as search terms. Here’s my entry:


  • truthseeker

    gus: I clicked on your link and it was the first and also last time I’ll ever use Bing. What a total POS.

  • beanie

    I took a look at NetApplications. The sample US search engine report for August 2009 had Bing at 8.4%, Google 75.87%, and Yahoo at 11.75%. For location specific stats, you have to pay NetApplications so you can not see current stats for free.

    NetApplications sample US search engine August 2009:

    So comScore stats for the US are close to NetApplications. I also looked at Hitwise and Nielsen. They also have Bing around 8%-9% of the US search volume.

    Bing search volume is probably up for Oct-Nov also since there is a lot of interest in Windows 7. Google searches for Windows 7 is twice that of Windows XP. Looks like Windows 7 is a mind share hit and XP is finally dead.

  • http://home.comcast.net/~daguy daGUY

    @The Mad Hatter: “As to Bing – I’ve tried it, and it is a total disaster. Search for anything Linux or OSX related, and the search results are all Windows.”

    What? I just did a search on Bing for “Mac OS X” and the word “Windows” doesn’t even appear in any of the search results until page 4, and even then, it’s for a link to download Windows Media Player for Mac.

    Dislike Bing if you want, but to say that searches for OS X bring up pages of Windows-related results is a total lie that can be proven false in about 5 seconds. Honestly, why did you even bother saying something like that?

  • http://crankyoldnutcase.blogspot.com/ The Mad Hatter


    No, it wasn’t a lie. It looks like someone realized that they looked stupid, and fixed the bias. I wasn’t the only one to report this, if you check back to when Bing launched, a lot of people noticed similar things.

  • ShabbaRanks

    @ daGUY

    I have to support The Mad Hatter here as until fairly recently his unlikely sounding scenario was, in fact, true.

    Thankfully, this has now changed as I’ve just done a Bing search for something that used to give very Windows-centric results. It doesn’t now.

  • http://crankyoldnutcase.blogspot.com/ The Mad Hatter

    But if you use Windows 7, it tries to force you to use Bing. Microsoft doesn’t want to have to compete on merits. Instead they want to lock you in.

  • Pingback: Search wars – Past, Present and future – Bing, Google or new entrant? « How IT Works()