Friday, April 17, 2015

Microsoft Finally Makes Bing Relevant With 20 Percent Market Share

When it comes to search engines we all know Google is king of the hill. They have sat on top of the mountain for years now with little competition for the top spot. Their dominance in the marketplace came largely due to one thing, they were the best out there. Over the years Microsoft and others have fought the good fight to carve out their own space, but generally that haven't had much success.

Recently though there has been a bit of a shake-up at the top. Microsoft has poured more and more time and money into building a better search engine with more powerful tools set to compete with Google. Now it looks like they are finally making up some ground.

According to analytic company ComScore, Bing's Market Share has topped 20.1 percent, marking the first time the search engine has broken into the 20 percent mark and showing continued growth up from 19.8 percent in February. Yahoo's share dipped slightly to 12.7 percent from 12.8 percent the prior month. And No. 1 Google remained flat with a 64.4 percent slice.

Though ComScore's numbers include only searches conducted from the desktop and not from mobile devices, Bing's 20 percent share reveals a slow but healthy gain over the past few years. In December 2011, Bing finally surpassed Yahoo as the No. 2 search engine with a share of 15.1 percent and has been gradually moving higher since then.

Much of the sustained growth can be directly attributed to Microsoft's aggressive tactics and marketing plans. In December, Microsoft started integrating Bing into its Office Online product so that users don't need to leave Office to search Bing. And Microsoft has long had the Bing Rewards programs where users can earn entries into sweepstakes and points for gift cards and other various prizes for using Bing search.

Microsoft has also expanded their search partnerships including a newly updated pact with Yahoo which allows them to use customized Bing results while still offering more "flexibility to enhance the search experience" across mobile and desktop devices. Microsoft also expanded Bing's reach thanks to Yahoo's recent partnerships with Firefox, to set their search as the default for the browser.

Taking the numbers as a whole and considering that Yahoo sites and services are also powered by Bing, you can see just how much impact that Bing is having in the market. Just last month Bing powered more than 30% of all searches performed on desktop computers in the U.S. So it certainly appears as though Microsoft is on the right track and that Google may finally have a true competitor!

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