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):
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):
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:
ComScore's latest survey, for February 2011, shows:
A rolling four week average from ComScore rival Experian Hitwise, to April 2, finds:
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%
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