January 26, 2010, 12:00 AM

Bing posts strong gains in the booming worldwide Internet search market

Microsoft`s Bing is making gains in search engine market share, but it still has a long way to go to catch Google—or even Yahoo—in terms of worldwide searches, according to online measurement and research firm comScore Inc.

Microsoft Bing continues to make gains in search engine market share, but it still has a long way to go to catch Google-or even Yahoo-in terms of worldwide searches, according online measurement and research firm comScore Inc.

Bing, the search engine that Microsoft launched in May 2009, registered 4.1 billion searches, a 70% year-over-year gain over Microsoft’s previous Live Search engine, comScore says.

However, Google sites remained the dominant search property worldwide with 87.8 billion searches in December, nearly 67% of the global search market, and a 58% increase from December 2008. Yahoo sites accounted for 9.4 billion searches, up 13% from 8.4 billion in 2008. Baidu, the leading search engine in China, ranks third worldwide with 8.5 billion searches in December 2009.

Searches worldwide grew 46% in December to 131.4 billion, up from 89.7 billion in December 2008. The U.S. accounted for 17% of the search market, with 22.7 billion searches, a 22% rise from 18.7 billion in 2008. China ranked second with 13.3 billion searches, up 13% from 11.8 billion a year ago, followed by Japan with 9.2 billion, up 48% from 6.2 billion in 2008. Among the top 10 global search markets, Russia and France posted the largest gains, growing 92% and 61%, respectively.

“Search is clearly becoming a more ubiquitous behavior among Internet users that drives navigation not only directly from search engines but also within sites and across networks,” says Jack Flanagan, comScore executive vice president.

Here are the top 10 search engines worldwide, with the number of searches (in millions) conducted in December 2008 and 2009, along with the percentage change:

  • Google sites: 55,638; 87,809; 58%
  • Yahoo sites: 8,389; 9,444; 13%
  • Baidu.com Inc.: 7,963; 8,534; 7%
  • Microsoft sites: 2,403; 4,094; 70%
  • eBay: 1,327; 2,102; 58%
  • NHN Corp.: 1,892; 2,069; 9%
  • Yandex: 992; 1,892; 91%
  • Facebook.com: 1,023; 1,572; 54%
  • Ask Network: 1,053; 1,507; 43%
  • Alibaba.com Corp.: 1,118; 1,102; -1%

NHN Corp. owns Naver.com, a Korean search engine and Yandex is a Russian search engine. ComScore includes eBay, Facebook and Alibaba on the list, even though they don’t provide Internet search beyond their own sites because they support search activity that can be monetized through the sale of products found on their sites.

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