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Bada Bing: Microsoft In Search Comeback

Bing upgrades have Redmond on the road to recovery in search market while the competition stagnates.
Yahoo, for its part, may be suffering from the perception that it's abandoning the search market, as it will eventually outsource search on its pages to Microsoft under an alliance the two companies struck last year. That will further boost Microsoft's share of the search market.

As for Google, its dominance of the search advertising market is drawing scrutiny from antitrust regulators in the U.S. and Europe, and any efforts by the company to grow its stake significantly beyond the 65% mark could spark regulatory action.

Indeed, many of Google's recent moves to grow revenue come not from attempts to further build search share but from endeavors to exploit new markets like e-mail and cloud-based software such as Google Apps, which offers e-mail, document, and calendar services.

While month-to-month comparisons show incremental shifts in the market, the longer-term view indicates that Microsoft is gaining significant search share while Google stagnates and Yahoo fades out.

Bing launched in June 2009, when Microsoft's share of the search market was just 8.4%, Yahoo's share was 19.6%, and Google held a 65% stake. ComScore's February numbers therefore indicate Microsoft's share of U.S. search traffic has increased 37% since Bing went live, Yahoo's share has declined 14%, and Google has remained flat at the 65% mark.

The upshot: Microsoft is likely to continue its search gains, at least in the near term, while Yahoo struggles and Google's increases taper off.

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