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Thursday, November 19, 2009, 09:25 am PT (12:25 pm ET)

Web search statistics show Bing stagnant, Google growing

Following a press release from ComScore indicating that Microsoft has approached 10% market share with Bing, more comprehensive search statistics indicate that Bing's growth and share of web search is being wildly overstated.

ComScore's October "US Core Search" rankings made headlines in suggesting that Microsoft's Bing, combined with the company's other search properties, have incrementally amassed a significant share of US search, now at 9.9%.

However, ComScore's press release points out in small type that "searches for mapping, local directory, and user-generated video sites that are not on the core domain of the five search engines are not included in the core search numbers."

Microsoft doesn't have a big share of the mapping, local directory, and user generated search market. By removing this from its "core" rankings, ComScore greatly inflates Bing's importance, because the vast majority search related to maps, local search, and "user generated video" (why not just say "YouTube") are all owned by Google. Microsoft's own "Soapbox" effort to match Google's YouTube failed and was shut down in August after a three year run.

When looking at more neutral statistics that don't gerrymander figures to arrive at a desired conclusion, the facts are very different.

Net Application's search engine market share figures have been tracking the industry since at least 2000. For October 2009, the latest full month recorded, it gave Microsoft Bing just a 3.49% share of all search globally, along with 0.08% share for MSN Search and 0.01% share for Microsoft Live Search. Yahoo Search took second place with 6.68%, leaving the lion's share for Google at 84.53%.

This establishes the trend AppleInsider reported this summer that despite glowing press releases for Bing, Google keeps eating away more and more of the web search market globally, while Microsoft and Yahoo continue to remain stagnant.

As the chart below shows, in the four years between 2004 and 2008, Google incrementally shifted from having almost 60% share to having a dominating +75% share, while Yahoo fell from 18.5% to 12.7% and Microsoft fell from 14% to 6.3%.

Over the last two years since, Google has continued to gain share while Yahoo's dropped to the current figure of 6.7% and Microsoft's Bing, MSN and Live Search combined amounted to just 3.5% of the global web search market.

Google Yahoo Bing global market share