It looks as though Bing is finally starting to crawl up the search engine usage ladder. For the first time, Bing has outranked Yahoo in the global search engine market. StatCounter Global Stats finds that globally, Bing has attained a 4.37% share of the global market in February, ahead of Yahoo! at 3.93%. Both engines are far behind Google’s 89.94% of the global search engine market. In the United States, Yahoo! is still maintaining a marginal lead over Bing who has 9.03% of the market. Google still has the lion’s share of the market in the US at 76.63%.
StatsCounter bases their findings on aggregate data that is collected over a sampling of 15 billion across their network which carries approximately 3 million websites.
"It is significant that Bing overtook Yahoo! globally for the first time on a monthly basis but it remains a tough battle to claw back Google’s market share. Although Google dipped below the 90% mark in February worldwide for the first time since August 2009 it shows little sign of losing its global dominance any time soon." commented Aodhan Cullen, CEO, StatCounter.
In 2009, Microsoft announced that it would be powering the Yahoo search technology. So in essence they are effectively one company. If you add up the two totals as in a single corporate entity to compare against Google, the Bing-Yahoo conglomerate totals about 8.3% of the search engine market.
As an SEO, Google is the primary search engine that I use for statistics gathering and in our client ranking reports. The fact is that I rarely give more than a cursory glance at Bing or Yahoo on occasion. Having said that, I think that competition is healthy in every industry. One could speculate that the usage patterns have shifted due to the major upsets in the SERPs caused from major Google algorithm updates in January.