comScore: Bing breaks 16 percent market share

But Google makes gains too

comScore came out with their monthly search engine rankings this week and there was good news for Bing as it broke 16 percent for the first time. The bad news though was that Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) made moderate gains as well.

Bing was up one tenth of a percentage point this month to 16 percent. I've been covering these numbers for some time and unless I'm mistaken, this is a milestone for Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), breaking 16 percent for the first time. But Google gained .2 percent this month to finish with 69.9 percent, the closest to 70 percent I recall seeing Google in these rankings.

The big loser this month was Ask, which lost 0.3 percent, which then got split between Google with .2 percent and Bing with .1 percent. It's pretty easy to see how this plays out. Yahoo, which runs Bing on the back end, held stead at 12.2 percent, but the fact it didn't lose anything was a positive step.

When you look at the total number of searches, you really begin to see the separation between Google and the rest of the pack in a stark light. The total number of searches last month was up 8 percent to 17.6 billion explicit core searches. Of that, Google sites accounted for 11.8 billion, while Microsoft sites accounted for 2.8 billion and Yahoo sites had 2.1 billion. Even when you combine Microsoft and Yahoo, it's still less than half of what Google is generating on its own.

It's hard to take too much from these month to month analyses because the changes are so slight, but you see a similar pattern each month with these numbers, and while Microsoft continues to make very small gains, it seems to be at the expense of either its partner or lesser players at the bottom of the search engine rankings.

Still, breaking 16 percent is a big deal, and Microsoft should be very pleased by this because every percentage point is progress--even if Google still dominates.

For more information:
- see the comScore press release

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