Bing Search Numbers Rise, But Not At Google's Expense
Search share results in the United States rose to 12.1% between June 8 and 12 -- up from 11.3% between June 1 and 5, and up from 9.1% during the week prior to the engine's launch. Bing began rolling out on June 1, but was not fully in the public domain until days later.
Global Equities Research Analyst Trip Chowdhry calls the numbers reported by comScore "irrelevant data points" because only the market share and ad dollars that Bing captures from Google will determine success.
Chowdhry believes that to bring in the bucks and generate revenue from the site, Microsoft will need to position Bing as a subscription model and tie it into Microsoft Office products for enterprises. Rather than try to compete with Google, which he says operates as a discovery tool, Microsoft should sell Bing as a productivity tool that businesses could put to good use, he says. "Monetizing it with advertisements won't work," he says. "Productivity tools must have a subscription model."
No real data is available to determine whether any search engines have lost share to Bing. Last week, analysts suggested that people were searching on both Google and Bing simultaneously to determine which search engine provided better results.
Avinash Kaushik, analytics evangelist at Google, began seeing referrals on Google Analytics from Bing to his blog "Occam's Razor" on June 5, but site visits didn't pick up until June 7. Even now they are lackluster.
Kaushik gets about 90,000 visits to the blog monthly. From June 5-16, his blog logged 7,500 visits from search engines -- and of those, 6,796 are from Google, 213 from Bing, and 9 visits from Live.
The Benchmark Company Analyst Clayton Moran says Microsoft has the technology to take market share from Google, but not significantly. Bing might have a cleaner feel than past Microsoft search engines, but Google has become a verb -- a recognizable brand. "At that point you're really talking about a brand advantage," he says.
For the second quarter, ended June 30, Moran expects Google to report $5.4 billion in revenue, with about half coming from the U.S. and the remainder internationally. That would show 1% growth from the prior year. Moran expects 5% revenue growth for 2009, compared with 30% last year.
The Benchmark Company Analyst Brent Williams, who follows Microsoft, says online services contributed about 5.3% to revenue last quarter for the Redmond, Wash. company. The percentage has bounced between 4.8% and 5.8% for quite some time. "The real question is -- is any growth sustainable?" he says. "Will growth be there six months from now?"