Bing Gains Some Search Share (From Yahoo)

All the fuss about Microsoft finally posing a credible challenge to Google with Bing, its new search engine, misses the real primary target of Microsoft’s search efforts: Yahoo. Microsoft knows it can’t unseat Google anytime soon, but it does have a fighting chance of taking down Yahoo to soften it for an acquisition or simply take over the No. 2 spot in search. Even that day is still a long ways away, with Yahoo commanding about twice as much search market share in the U.S. as Bing.

But data from Bing’s first full month after launch suggests that its initial share gains are coming out of Yahoo’s hide, not Google’s. ComScore released its June qSearch market share figures to Wall Street analysts last night (click on the table below from Barclays to enlarge), and they show Bing making a modest 0.4 percent gain in search query volume to 8.4 percent, compared to May, 2009. (Compete reported a 0.3 percent jump in search market share for Bing from May to June.)

Whlle that gain was modest, and less than what some of Bing’s own self-reported traffic numbers would have suggested, it pretty much all came out of Yahoo’s hide. According to comScore, Yahoo’s search market share declined 0.5 percent to 19.6 percent from May, 2009. Google’s market share stayed steady at 65 percent.

Shortly after Bing’s launch, comScore reported strong initial interest in the new search engine, but how much of that will translate into actual search market share remains to be seen. Bing’s 8.4 percent market share just brings Microsoft’s share slightly above where it was in March, and it is still below the 9.2 percent share it commanded a year ago. Bing still has along way to go. But as it gains traction, it isn’t Google that should be worried. It is Yahoo.

U.S. Core Search Share, June 2009 (Source: comScore qSearch)

Google 65.0% 0.0% m/m +3.5% y.y
Yahoo 19.6% -0.5% m/m -1.3% y/y
Microsoft 8.4% +0.4% m/m -0.8% y/y
AOL 3.1% +0.04% m/m -1.0% y/y
Ask 3.9% +0.03% m/m -0.4% y/y