Comscore’s monthly ratings are out and Bing continues a slow but steady gain in share, to the slight expense of Google and Yahoo. Bing has a massive marketing push on right now, but also, I think the service is starting to gain footholds with users who see it as a regular alternative to Google. I am also a fan of the recently unveiled visual search interface – I think it augurs some serious new – and useful – approaches to sifting through massive amounts of related data.
From the Thomas Weisel’s analyst coverage, sent to me in mail:
Google maintains dominance within ‘core search’ but Bing Nudges Up m/m at Yahoo’s and Google’s Expense: Core search excludes searches conducted on video, local and map portions of the companies’ websites. Google’s U.S. query share of core search queries was down 11bps m/m to 64.6% in August but increased nearly 1.3 percentage points from August 2008. Yahoo’s share was flat m/m at 19.3% in August and decreased 39bps y/y. Microsoft’s share increased 35bps m/m to 9.3% in August and up 89bps y/y. Ask.com’s share were was flat m/m at 3.9% in August but decreased 45bps y/y. AOL’s share decreased 14bps m/m to 3.0% in August and decreased 133bps y/y.
Our take: Google continues to dominate audience market rankings in the U.S. while Microsoft has shown some signs of stabilization and a modest uptick with the launch of Bing in June. Yahoo, while having shown signs of stability over the past 12-18 months, has recently started to lose market share again, declining from 21.0% in January to 19.3% in August. Taken together, Yahoo and Microsoft represent 29% of the core search market in the U.S., flat with the previous month. Microsoft’s new search engine, Bing, was launched at the beginning of June alongside an $80-100mn advertising campaign. This is the third month of data reflecting Bing’s impact. While the data indicates a very modest near-term bounce, we will be watching closely to see if any query pickup is sustainable.