Bing Gains on Google in Desktop Search

October 20, 2017

Many were skeptical that Bing could make any inroads into Google’s market, but now TechRadar reports, “Bing Search Has Taken Over a Surprising Amount of Google’s Turf.” Citing comScore’s figures for desktop PC searches made this past March, writer Darren Allan tells us that, in the US, one out of three desktop searches used Bing and in the UK, one out of four did. Globally, Bing’s market share is 9%, a figure that includes Microsoft-powered Yahoo and AOL searches. What is behind Bing’s unforeseen success? Allan reflects:

The spread of Windows 10 is the primary factor, with Microsoft’s newest OS maintaining a steady rate of growth as time goes on, as we saw with the latest figures on that front yesterday. Windows 10 is fronted – quite literally, from setup onwards – by Cortana, and searches conducted via the digital assistant are powered by Bing. As Windows 10 continues to gather pace, and more folks begin to use Cortana on the desktop, naturally more searches will come Bing’s way. And to some extent, Google getting flak for anti-competitive practices in Europe, as seen last month when the search giant was hit by a massive fine for favoring its own shopping services in results, isn’t likely to hurt Bing’s prospects either. We’ve certainly had several non-techie friends hear anti-Google news hitting the headlines, prompting them to think about using alternatives. This search might lead folks to Bing’s door. And finally, the fact that Microsoft will now pay you to use Bing could tempt some folks, as well.

Yes, Microsoft Rewards is bribing users to make the switch. I suppose every incentive helps. Will such tactics, along with Windows’ dominant desktop position and Google’s reputation problem, continue to support Bing’s rise in the search market? Stay tuned.

Cynthia Murrell, October 20, 2017

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