Bing’s disappearing search share gain in the US

Web stats site StatCounter caused some excitement last week when it announced that Bing had overtaken Yahoo in search market share, as tracked by its site analysis tools.

I took a look at the figures today, and they make depressing reading for Microsoft:

I’ve annotated the image to show Live Search share on 29 May, compared to Bing share now. They are nearly the same; within the normal daily variation. Yahoo is actually slightly ahead of where it was. Note that all Live Search hits automatically became Bing hits on the day of transition (1st June). As for Google, it is back a little above where it was before.

One odd thing about the StatCounter figures is that at the beginning of this period there was around 5% share for “other”, which has now almost disappeared. Gone to Google? Who knows; and I don’t particularly trust these figures.

There are two organizations with more reliable numbers, one of them Google, because of the number of sites signed up for its Web Analytics, and the other Microsoft, which can count actual hits, but these numbers are not published.

Well, Ballmer said it was a long haul. I’m actually impressed with Bing; the results seem decent, there are some good UI features, and the re-branding is sensible. If StatCounter accurately reflects the market though, the immediate affect of the launch is vanishingly small.

Update: Things look a little better today – Bing is up to 8.52% (note that the figure changes dynamically during each day). A long haul; I’ll be tracking the figures with interest.

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