Bing still growing but has it hit the ceiling?

Microsoft's search engine now has a 12.7 per cent share of the US market, says comScore, but Yahoo is responding, reaping the rewards of its latest advertising cash injection.

market share charts

Microsoft's Bing passed its first birthday with another steady jump in US market share, but continues to make little new inroads into the gap to nearest target Yahoo.

The latest comScore figures show Bing is now still gaining slightly as the third most popular search engine in the States behind Yahoo and market leader Google.

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However, the figures for June saw Yahoo match its 0.6 per cent rise, with both eating slightly into Google's formidable majority. Yahoo now sits with 18.9 per cent of the US market, Bing with 12.7 per cent and a still-dominant Google on 62.6 per cent though more than a per cent down on May.

In total, Americans conducted 16.4 billion core searches over the month an increase of three per cent over May's levels.

The analytics firm attributed Yahoo and Bing's gains to their provision of better contextual search options than Google.

"Both Yahoo sites and Microsoft sites have experienced gains due in part to the continued utilisation of contextual search approaches that tie content and related search results together," the market share report revealed.

The figures included included partner and cross-channel searches, but mapping, directory and video searches on the likes of YouTube were left out. Bringing up the rear for the five major US search networks were Ask (3.6 per cent) and AOL (2.2 per cent) both slightly softer than in May.

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The start of June marked a full year in existence for Bing, with the service having grown from around 6 per cent at launch to upwards of 10 per cent by the year-end, and now to 12.7 per cent.

However, Microsoft has had to work hard and spend heavily in promoting its search engine and having stated all along that its target was Yahoo rather than Google, it has seen the gap to the second most used search service stagnate at six per cent no doubt in no small measure due to the latter's $85 million advertising drive announced in May.

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