Bing has gained steady ground in the US and UK search markets over the last year, as search engine monitor Hitwise has revealed. In April, Hitwise reported a steady growth in Bing’s market share for the UK. The company recently revealed that Bing powered 24% of US searches for August 2011, a gain of around 4% on last year’s figure.
The result comes from the combining of forces for Yahoo and Bing. Bing has been providing organic search results to Yahoo since August 2010. While the original results were simply a combination of Yahoo and Bing’s normal monthly industry shares, the last year has seen a slow increase.
A shift of less than five percent is not something that is likely to make Google quake in its boots, but it is enough of a shift to make most SEOs thoughtful. Many search engine optimisation companies have been advocating optimising for both Google and Bing, and the angles taken in SEO sales jobs has reflected this drift toward a two-party market. Many site owners are now looking to target Bing’s results pages just as strongly as Google.
Anyone who expected a show of force from Microsoft’s Bing search engine when it was first launched was sorely disappointed. Despite the hype, the search engine seemed to smoothly take over from its predecessor, Microsoft Live Search. However, the acquisition of Yahoo as a search customer seems to have given the search engine the edge it needs to provide a serious challenge to Google.