Bing now the fastest growing search engine in the US

Lou Dematteis/Reuters
Microsoft Senior Vice President Yusuf Medhi announces Visual Search for the Bing search engine at TechCrunch50 in San Francisco, September 14. Bing appears to be closing in on Google's market share.

Google still commands the lion's share of the search market. But a new batch of figures released this week has Bing as the fastest growing search engine in the United States. According to Nielsen, a media research firm, Bing now holds nearly 11 percent share of the market – a significant spike over the 9 percent recorded in July.

There's still a lot of work to do before Bing will really threaten Google's 65 percent stranglehold on the search engine market. Bing must not only contend with the technical challenges – making an engine better than Google's – but the cultural ones, too. After all, we “Google” the nearest restaurant. It will be difficult to get a sizable swath of web users to start “Binging” the show times for the new "Twilight" flick.

Still, Bing's numbers are pointing in the right direction. And critics and users have been kind to Microsoft's new engine. Participants in a June focus group study said they preferred the visual design and feel of Bing over Google. One test subject said Bing was “warmer and more inviting.” Another opined that “Bing’s search refining features were more helpful than Google’s.”

As for Google – well, no one in the home office is exactly quaking in their boots. Yet. In an interview this month with Fox Business Network this summer, Google CEO Eric Schmidt seemed to dismiss bing. “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.”


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