The latest figures from Nielsen indicate that even before the Search Alliance fully comes into effect, Bing has taken the second largest share of the U.S search market.
Nielsen’s data shows that Google has, unsurprisingly, maintained its dominant hold in the U.S with 65% of the total search market, showing little change from the previous month. Microsoft’s 2% month-on-month gain for searches made via MSN/Bing/Windows Live to a total share of 13.9% is certainly far from an urgent threat to its chief rival.
However, with Yahoo dropping from 14.6% at the beginning of July to 13.1% at the beginning of August, and after more than a year of confident predictions from the SEO and SEM community, Bing has finally taken the number two spot in the U.S search market.
Bing’s growth is the fastest among all of the top U.S search sites, with Nielsen placing its year on year gain at 30% in comparison to Google’s sedentary 1% year on year growth and Yahoo!’s year on year 18% decline.
Obviously, these figures do not take into account the Search Alliance – the partnership between Yahoo and Bing that has seen Microsoft’s search technology power organic results on Yahoo. This officially began on the 24th of August, with both companies currently working at switching Yahoo! search engine marketing to Microsoft’s PPC search platform, AdCentre.
However, Nielsen says: “If we combined Bing-powered search in August pro-forma, it would represent a 26% share of search”. This means that in the US market, for the first time in years, search engine optimisation targeting something other than Google’s PageRank system will be able to reach more than a fifth of search users.