Bing benefits from increased retailer spending

On the eve of Black Friday, the retail sector has increased spending on ads featured by Microsoft's Bing search engine.

It's up, up, and away for Bing.

For Microsoft's Bing, it's shaping up to be an especially good Black Friday. According to media research firm SearchIgnite, retailers spent 47 percent more on Microsoft search ads in the fourth quarter of 2009 than they did in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Moreover, Microsoft now accounts for 8 percent of all search ad spending by retailers – up from 6 percent at the same time last year.

Best yet: Average order values are up 21 per cent on Bing, outstripping the rest of the search market. Of course, Bing did not exist at this point last year. The so-called "decision engine" was first unveiled in late May, and pushed live at the beginning of June. A concerted marketing effort has helped the upstart Bing leap into the midst of a market traditionally owned by Google.

Last month, comScore reported that Bing’s US market share rose from from 9.4 percent in September to to 9.9 percent in October. Compare that with Yahoo, which sunk from 18.8 percent in September to 18 percent in October. The math stacks up like this: Americans conducted 14.3 billion searches in October.

Of that 14.3 billion, 9.4 billion searches were conducted on Google Sites. 2.6 billion searches were keyed into Yahoo sites; Bing got approximately 1.4 searches.

In an open email to executives in September, CEO Steve Ballmer, who has helped spearhead the Bing campaign, said he was optimistic about the future of the IT industry, despite the sagging economy.

"I’m optimistic because there are encouraging signs that growth may resume in many parts of the world during the course of the next year,” Ballmer wrote. “More than that, I’m optimistic because I believe we are entering a period of technology-driven transformation that will see a surge in productivity and a flowering of innovation.”

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