Bing bing! Report shows Microsoft's new search tool off to strong start

Jake Turcotte

On Friday, StatCounter reported that Microsoft's Bing had temporarily edged ahead of Yahoo, briefly capturing second place in the scuffle for search engine bragging rights. (Both Yahoo and Bing were still trailing Google by significant margins.) Today, comScore, an Internet analytics company, published a study showing more strong gains for Microsoft, just a week after Bing was unveiled.

According to comScore, Microsoft increased its average daily penetration among US searchers from 13.8 percent at the end of May to 15.5 percent during the period of June 2 to 6. (Bing launched on May 28.) During the same time frame, Microsoft’s share of search result pages in the US – an indicator of "search intensity," comScore says – increased from 9.1 percent to 11.1 percent.

“These initial data suggest that Microsoft Bing has generated early interest, resulting in a spike in search engagement and an immediate term improvement to Microsoft’s position in the search market,” Mike Hurt, comScore senior vice president, said in a statement. “So far it appears that the lifts in searcher penetration and engagement have held relatively steady throughout the five-day period."

Still, Hurt cautioned, "The ultimate performance of Bing depends on the extent to which it generates more trial through its extensive launch campaign and whether it retains those trial users."

Bing has been greeted warmly by reviewers and users, although some bloggers have wondered aloud whether anyone will really make the switch from Google. In other Bing related news, Search Engine Roundtable, a popular blog, today published the results of an anonymous poll of its readers. Seventy percent of those readers said they liked Bing, while 24 percent disliked it.

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