News of Bing eating Google and Yahoo search share rules out to be a miss-calculation. Three out of four major market research firms say that Yahoo still leads significantly in traffic. (Source: DailyTech)
Microsoft’s new product seized the number two search spot says one research report, others disagree
The Yahoo Microsoft saga is an irresistible one for the tech news community, both for journalists and readers alike. After Yahoo disregarded Microsoft’s 2008 purchase offer, Microsoft decided to go its own way, cooking up Kudo. So when the newly renamed Kudo, now Bing, was released last week and appeared to seize second place in searches from Yahoo, some quickly reported Microsoft to be victorious over Yahoo. Now it appears, those reports may have been misleading.
If there has been one consistent thing about Bing and its reception, it has been the lack of consistency. Some have showered praise on the search engine, arguing that while not a leap and bound over Google, it provides a much better experience than the old Live search and better options to refine your search.
Other reviewers were less positive, including a particularly scathing review by PC World which accused Microsoft of “binging” customers. It claimed Microsoft’s Cashback discounted “best price” items which appeared as search results were actually substantially more expensive than offerings from discount retailers like Amazon.com and Newegg.com.
Then came a StatCounter report at the end of last week, which claimed Bing scored 16.28 percent of U.S. search traffic last week compared to 10.22 percent by Yahoo and 71.47 by Google. The report put Bing’s worldwide total at 5.62 percent, compared to 5.13 by Yahoo and 87.62 by Google. Some blog sites like TechCrunch began to hail Bing as having stolen marketshare from Google and using to bing Yahoo, sprinting into second.
However, the weekend brought still other reports contradicting these figures. Search Engine Land checked with leading market research firms Comscore, Nielsen, and Hitwise, which reported that Yahoo was consistently doing three times the traffic as Bing. CNET, which owns a large network of sites also disputed not pass Yahoo. the claims of a Bing victory, saying its own internal data indicated Bing did
The dramatic reversal brings to question the accuracy of the original StatCounter report. StatCounter’s materials state that its numbers are “based on aggregate data collected by Statcounter on a sample exceeding 4 billion page views per month collected from across the Statcounter network of more than 3 million Web sites. Stats are updated and made available every 4 hours, however are subject to quality assurance testing and revision for 7 days from publication.”
So perhaps poor quality testing let some bad numbers slip through. What does this mean for Bing? Likely not much; the search engine is unlikely to post any dramatic gains or losses so soon. It may get a boost these first few weeks and then see a drop off, much like Google-descendant Cuil. However, don’t expect it to nosedive like Cuil, either — after all, it has the backing of one of the tech industry’s strongest players. Ultimately, whether Bing will beat Yahoo likely won’t be decided for months, while a challenge to Google would take years.