Microsoft has steadily pumped money and resources into Bing, attempting to carve out a chunk of the search market. It has integrated Bing search technology into existing Microsoft products including the Xbox, Windows, Windows Phone and Office to attempt to get users using Bing and shoehorned from Google.
But Microsoft’s slow and steady rise since Bing was launched in 2009 has been at the expense of its search partner Yahoo, which claimed 20% of the US search market before Bing’s arrival. However, Bing also powers Yahoo’s search engine in some situations, including standard organic search, making Microsoft’s total reach just under 33%.
Outside the US the desktop search market looks very different. Google claimed an 87.95% share of the global search market leaving Bing with 4.4% and Yahoo with 3.87% in March, according to data from research firm StatCounter. Google’s global share has reduced from a peak of 92.04% in May 2012, primarily due to the rise of Bing.
Google dominates in Europe, with a 90.94% share in March, leaving Bing with 3.37% and Yahoo with 2.1%, but again Google was down from a peak of 95.1% in June 2011.
The UK is one of Bing’s biggest markets in Europe, however. Microsoft claimed a 7.08% share of the UK desktop search market in March, Yahoo 3.46%, but Google still had the lions share with an 88.09% share of the market.
Google is facing anti-trust charges in Europe over its alleged abuse of its search dominance and promotion of its own services over competitors.
For many, Google is the portal to the internet for search, but recent rises in social media dominance, especially from Facebook, have shifted that balance of power over how consumers begin their browsing journey.
While Bing is now a viable competitor to Google in the US, Facebook will likely be Google’s biggest rival for the next era of the internet, being the primary homepage and portal for many.
This article was written by Samuel Gibbs, for theguardian.com on Friday 17th April 2015 14.35 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010