Microsoft has hit a milestone in its slow search ascent, with Bing powering 30 percent of searches in the United States.
That’s only if you include both Bing and Yahoo, which is powered by Microsoft’s search engine. Separately, Bing is still in third place with 14.32 percent of the market in March, according to Hitwise. Yahoo has 15.69 percent, and Google still dominates with 64.42 percent.
Roughly half of Bing’s 5 percent extra share came at Google’s expense. Hitwise doesn’t explain the rest of Google’s 3 percent drop in share, but presumably it comes at the hands of smaller search engines such as Ask.com, which in November gave up on chasing the big dogs to focus on other efforts.
It’s also not clear why Bing is scoring consistent growth. The Next Web notes that Microsoft has been marketing Bing aggressively on popular websites, but that doesn’t explain why Yahoo search has grown as well. However, Hitwise says that Bing and Yahoo both have much higher success rates — roughly 80 percent, compared to 66 percent for Google — so maybe users are enjoying Microsoft’s search and going back to it more than Google. Perhaps the recent brouhaha over Google search quality has caused users to wander. It’s anybody’s guess.
In any case, the rate of growth for Bing should be worrisome for Google. If it keeps up, Bing could overtake Google in 2012, according to Mashable. That’s unlikely to happen, but Bing does seem on track to become a serious threat. And people thought Microsoft couldn’t force its way into the search game.