Bing zings forward in the search scuffle. Is Google runnin' scared?

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    Bing, Microsoft's new search engine, has continued to improve its position in the search scuffle. Should the Google kids over in Mountain View, Calif., be getting a little nervous?
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The finish line is a long ways off, and the racers are still elbow to elbow.

But a report released today shows that Bing, Microsoft's next-generation search engine, is strengthening its position in the fractious search engine scuffle. According to comScore, a firm that monitors Internet traffic, Bing has increased its daily search penetration and its share of search result pages in the US, just two weeks after the site went public.

That's promising news for Microsoft, which has invested some serious cash – and more than a little tech cred – in getting Bing off the ground. As for Google – well, maybe it's time that the California company started peering over its shoulder.

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The dry data

Bing's average daily penetration among US searchers reached 16.7 percent during the week of June 8, a 3 percent increase from the week prior to the engine's introduction. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s share of search result pages in the US – a good gauge of overall search intensity – increased to 12.1 percent during the week of June 8.

“It appears that Microsoft Bing has continued to generate interest from the market for the second consecutive week,” Mike Hurt, comScore senior vice president, said in a statement. “These early data reflect a continued positive market reaction to Bing in the initial stages of its launch.”

We ain't scared. Yet.

So is Google, the world champion of search, shaking in its boots? Maybe. But Bing still faces a heck of an uphill battle before it can be crowned king of the heap. As I wrote last year, and Google's name has long been synonymous in mainstream culture with web search. We “Google” the nearest restaurant, and we “Google” our favorite musicians. I don't know about you, but I'm not about to start "Binging" the local dog groomer.

Ahem.

Anyway, as for the folks at Google, if they're feeling a little queasy, they sure ain't showing it. In an interview this month with Fox Business Network, Google CEO Eric Schmidt brushed the dirt off his shoulder. “It’s not the first entry for Microsoft. They do this about once a year,” he said. “I don’t think Bing’s arrival has changed what we’re doing. We are about search, we’re about making things enormously successful, by virtue of innovation.”

You hear that Bing, buddy?

Let it rain!

Two weeks ago, StatCounter, an analytics services, reported that Microsoft’s Bing had temporarily edged ahead of Yahoo, briefly capturing second place in the battle for search engine bragging rights. Then, last Tuesday, comScore published a study showing more strong gains for Microsoft, just a week after Bing was unveiled. Who wants to bet they're celebrating today over at Microsoft HQ?

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