Numbers Show Bing Attracts Trial Users Only

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While StatCounter’s data on Bing’s market share for June 4 showing that Bing managed to overtake Yahoo as the number 2 search engine, was a positive sign, Compete’s own analysis of the past weeks search engine market behavior shows that Bing’s usage did not affect overall search engine market behavior.

At first glance, the numbers maybe misleading. For instance, Compete’s data show that one week after Bing was launched, Microsoft’ s searcher penetration has increased by 2.3ppts to 11.4%. Google’s number showed only 0.7% while Yahoo has dropped by 0.2%.

Interestingly the increase in Bing’s searcher penetration could not be attributed to a lost in any of Yahoo or Google’s searcher penetration data. The surge in Bing is primarily because of the massive marketing campaign which was put up by Microsoft to launch Bing.

But the search volume that Bing has been getting since its launch is not significant enough to influence the search market share index which remained unchanged.This only means that searchers have not abandoned their preferred search engines yet and they may be using Bing but only to test it out.

It’s still too early to tell whether Bing could sustain this positive search volume. By next month, when more data has come in, that is the time when we can all tell whether Microsoft succeeded in revitalizing its search engine.


Arnold Zafra
Arnold Zafra writes daily on the announcements by Google,, Yahoo & MSN along with how these announcements effect web publishers. He is currently building... Read Full Bio
Arnold Zafra
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  • That’s probably not surprising. As with any business, you can only make up ground on the industry beast by offering something better…not just new. It is an interesting testament, however, as to how offline marketing can find a new online niche. It also shows how to waste your money with marketing by not spending it wisely on the product first.

  • I’m going to go out on a limb and make a couple of predictions:
    Bing won’t achieve a great deal of market share – even after MS integrates it into Hotmail, MSN, etc.
    12 months from now it will still be behind Yahoo!
    And the Pre isn’t going make it, either.
    At the cutting edge of tech I think the war is won or lost in the first week, probably first few days.
    Goog took out Bing with a Wave and Apple will prevail with an S…

  • What makes you think definitive results will be seen within the first few days or even “by next month, when more data has come in”?

    This is not a case of a new and evolving application area that suddenly has a breakthrough app that changes the game – pretty much what happened when Google appeared on the scene.
    It’s more a case of a six hundred pound gorilla being taken on by a potentially worthy challenger that may or may not be deemed superior by a significant number of the masses.
    I like Google and I’ve looked at Bing. For the time being I will continue to use Google as my default and will try Bing from time to time to see what sort of results I get and evaluate how they differ. While I generally have a bias towards non-Microsoft products, Bing seems to be good enough to merit consideration. I suspect a significant number of folks will treat it that way and it will be several months before we can see a clear trend.

  • Compete needs to put together some REAL metrics. Their meaningless nonsense is based on an obsolete metric comprised of measuring page views and number of queries performed.

    If Compete were an SEO firm trying to justify itself to a paying client, would it’s metrics hold up under even casual scrutiny? Of course?

    Today’s metrics need to look at conversions and in the search industry you can measure conversions just as easily as in ecommerce.

    A Search Conversion occurs when the user finds what they are looking for (or something that will satisfy their need for search). This is as true of any site search tool as of any major search engine.

    You can have failed conversions, internal conversions (where the search site’s own user-facing data resolves the query), and external conversions (where the search site sends the user to another site).

    What Compete, comScore, Hitwise, and Nielsen need to do is bring their metrics into the 21st Century and start reporting on Search Conversions.

    We need to know how many people the search engines send to other sites. We need to know how many people find something to satisfy their needs within the search engines’ own content. And we need to know how many people are not finding satisfactory results in their queries.

  • Thanks for sharing the Bing market share and its stats.

  • Hi Michael,

    Compete actually DOES track conversion… We typically just don’t publish them our blog. =)

    For example, see this post on search-referred shoppers who bought a Kindle at Amazon.

    We agree that conversion is probably the single most valuable metric for online marketers. So we sell conversion data to our clients (including SEO/SEM shops, who need to show how they performed vs. competitors).

    But other metrics are valuable, too. When we report queries at the engine level, we are talking about billions of searches.

    It’s simply not possible to track conversion at this magnitude. Moreover, many searches are navigational in nature and aren’t supposed to result in an on-site conversion. Others are answered right there on the SERP.

    That’s why we take a look at alternative metrics like searches/searcher to gauge search engine performance at the macro level.

    Hope this helps,


  • I think that we really need to know a lot more about Bing. How does it’s SEO interpretation differ to google? Where is their ‘adwords’ tool to check which terms are being serached for each month? Bing needs to be more webmaster friendly!