Microsoft's Bing 'gains' on Google in US; barely on radar in NZ

VML managing partner Michael Gregg.

UPDATE: TradeMe - easily the nation's most-trafficked site, and thereby probably the most accurate reflection of online New Zealand as a whole, forwarded NBR the following stats for its traffic from search engines (for April so far):

Google: 96.38%
Bing: 1.87%
Yahoo: 1.43%
Other: 0.32%

So much for middle New Zealand. What about the early-adopters at Geekzone? No joy for Bing there, either.

Founder Maurcio Freitas sent the following stats for incoming search engine traffic (for the past 30 days):

Google: 96.45%
Yahoo: 1.47%
Bing: 1.32%

Microsoft NZ 'technology evangelist' Nathan Mercer commented that Bing NZ was still in beta, and still being optimised.

(TradeMe figures via Nielsen NetRatings; Geekzone figures via Google Analytics)


Microsoft's search engine, Bing.com, has made big gains on Google - at least according to overheated accounts in the US tech media this morning.

A closer reading of the figures reveals it's more a case of a reshuffling of Microsoft and Yahoo's marketshare, while Google remains as dominant as ever.

Bing was unveiled in May 2009 (as a a relaunch Live.com).

By August that year, ComScore had Bing up marginally, at the expense of Google and Yahoo. It's figures:

Google: 64.7%
Yahoo: 19.3%
Bing: 8.9%

ComScore's latest survey, for February 2011, shows:

Google: 65.4%
Yahoo: 16.1%
Bing: 13.6%

A rolling four week average from ComScore rival Experian Hitwise, to April 2, finds:

Google: 64.2%
Yahoo: 15.7%
Bing: 13.6%

In other words, while Bing has made gains, it's been at the expense of partner Yahoo (and minnows in the "other" category like Ask.com).

Google has held or margianlly increased its share, depending on which survey you believe (and Hitwise quite swings; in February it had Google above 66%).

Bing-powered sites hit 30%
Hitwise does trumpet that "Bing-powered" sites accounted for 30% of searches for the four months to April 2.

As noted, that's largely a reshuffling of the Microsoft and Yahoo's historic share - in favour of Microsoft.

Still, with Microsoft's Bing technology now being used to power more and more Yahoo search properties (and a search ad revenue sharing being rolled out around the world), it does make sense to look at the two "rivals" as one. Now how about they move beyond a partnership and properly merge?

A local take
Hitwise has typically recored Google at 90% plus share in New Zealand.

And I hear time and time again from local webmasters that Bing accounts for a marginal amount of their traffic generated by search engine query click-throughs.

That's certainly the case at NBR.co.nz, where Nielsen NetRatings reports the following referral share for April 1 - 12*:

Google search sites: 86.53%
Google news sites: 9.45%
Bing: 1.33%
Yahoo search sites: 0.75%

It's no particular mystery why Bing hasn't made any progress here.

Many of its signature, point-of-difference features - such as the ability to search for the best travel deals, then book them - aren't available outside the US. And while Bing's promo budget in the US has run to hundreds of millions, here there's been barely a peep.

So should Kiwis care about Bing? Yes says VML managing partner (and ex-IAB chair) Michael Gregg - consider Microsoft's search engine if you're targetting US customers.

* Taken from the top 15 referers; those below the top 15 all have sub-0.25% share

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5 Comments & Questions

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Have you ever tried to use Bing to search for something? The first two to three pages of results are invariably commercials, not real information.

One of the first things I do when setting up new workstation images for clients is to remove Bing from the list of search engines in the internet browser.

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by default Bing.com will default to the NZ version which is still in beta and not optimised

Personally I use the US Bing version and get pretty good results for my queries

You can change countries in the top right hand corner of www.bing.com or use

<url>http://www.bing.com/?scope=web&setmkt=en-US</url>

<quote> Disclaimer: I work at Microsoft </quote>

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Microsoft has a reputation for foisting bug ridden software with hidden aspects on customers that they probably wouldn't like if they knew about them and updates frequently cause conflict issues with installed drivers.Hope Google doesn't get infected with the same disease as it increasingly dominates key net functions.

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I've been using Bing since watching what Google have been up to politically and now with their change in how they rank their site potencially creating a bit of bias in that area.
Just what were they up to with the US State Department in regard to Egypt in 2008?
Why was one of their board in Cairo at the time of the uprising there?
Don't bother using Google to search for the answers...
Strangly and I don't know why, my browser sped up once I removed the google plug-ins and changed the default search providor to Bing. If you uninstall Chrome, make IE or Firefox your default browser first or you will have trouble clicking on hyperlinks in say Outlook.

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Your statement that TradeMe being NZ's most trafficked site is probably correct but most of those getting there via a search engine means nothing. These users are either searching for a particular product or are bone lazy being too slack to setup TradeMe as a favourite or bookmark and this bunch would probably not even heard of Bing and would not have a clue of how to add to their browser.

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