The Internet has been watching carefully as Microsoft’s much-touted (and much-marketed) Bing search engine tries to take on Google in the Internet search marketplace…and, at least initially, Bing seems to be gaining followers, even if a good portion of its gains appear to be coming at the expense of new partner Yahoo. Now, however, Web analytics firm StatCounter finds that Bing’s initial honeymoon with the Internet search market may be coming to an end: StatCounter shows Bing’s share of the U.S. search market actually declined by over one percent in September, the first time Bing has lost share since it was loudly launched.
“The trend has been downwards for Bing since mid August,” commented StatCounter CEO Aodhan Cullen, in a statement. “The wheels haven’t fallen off but the underlying trend must be a little worrying for Microsoft.”
StatCounter found that Bing’s share of the U.S. search market shrunk from 9.64 percent in August to 8.51 percent in September; globally, Bing’s decline was less several but still in a downward direction, dipping from 3.58 percent to 3.25 percent.
Microsoft’s partner Yahoo also saw search share declines. In the United States, Yahoo dropped from a 10.5 percent in August to 9.4 percent in September; globally, Yahoo’s share slipped from 4.84 percent to 4.37 percent.
The main beneficiary of these declined appears to be—you guessed it—Google, which saw its share of the U.S. search market include to 80.08 percent in September from 77.83 percent in August. Globally, Google accounted for a whopping 90.54 percent of the search market.
StatCounter bases its analysis of some 4.6 referring click-throughs from sites running StatCounter services; while StatCounter is a well-established Wb analytics firm, sites using its services may not be representative of the Internet as a whole. Different Web analysis firms use different methodologies: some have sample pools of Web users, some perform automated tracking and hit analysis, some do a bit of both. It’s a measure of how different the methodologies are—and how diverse the Internet can be—that things like search share numbers from major tracking firms rarely display more than a general agreement. However, StatCounter is the first to claim an actual decline for Bing’s search share in the U.S. or globally.