Bing Is Growing Faster Than Ever, Keeps Gaining Search Market Share


Bing just keeps on gaining market share, and is now growing faster than ever before. In December, Microsoft’s search engine gained another 0.4 percent to capture 10.7 percent of U.S. search queries, according to the latest comScore qSearch numbers. That makes five straight months of steady share gains for Bing since it launched—Bing’s share is up 2.7 percent in total since May, 2009. Google gained only 0.2 percent to end the month with 65.7 percent market share. Meanwhile, Yahoo lost as much as Google gained (0.2 percent) to end the year at 17.3 percent (see table above, courtesy of Barclays Capital, click to enlarge).

What is even more interesting is if you look at year-over-year query growth rates for each search engine. Bing’s growth is actually accelerating. Its growth rate in query volume was 49.4 percent in December, compared to 20.6 percent growth for Google (which was also above the average), and a 1.9 percent decline for Yahoo. Here are the year-over-year query growth rates for Bing for the past few months:

  • December, 2009: 49.4%
  • November, 2009: 46.0%
  • October, 2009: 30.8%
  • September, 2009: 30.7%
  • August, 2009: 31.8%
  • July, 2009: 15.6%
  • June, 2009: 11.6%

Barclays Capital analyst Douglas Anmuth attributes Bing’s gains to “advertising, OEM partnerships and toolbars, & Bing cashback.” He also notes that Yahoo’s decline was due “almost entirely” to the loss of some toolbar deals, specifically HP to Bing and Acer to Google, which weren’t particularly profitable anyway. But Yahoo’s core search volume growth is decelerating, which is a concern for investors.

And while Yahoo lost 0.2 percent share, that is less than the 0.5 to 0.8 percent losses it incurred in each of the previous three months. He notes that since Bing’s launch, Yahoo has lost almost as much share (2.8 percent) as Bing has gained (2.7 percent), a trend we’ve seen from the very beginning.

Note: This data is based on comScore’s qSearch, which estimates the actual number of search queries for each search engine, including ones which go through toolbars and related sites beyond the main search site. Data from Nielsen and Hitwise show different trends, with Bing actually falling in December, but they measure market share differently. Most Wall Street analysts report the comScore numbers, and they are the metric we track most regularly.