Aug 142009

Since Microsoft’s revamped MSN search, now named Bing, was launched in June 2009, the search engine has slowly gained market share in search and shopping. For several years now, MSN search has hung around the 5-percent market share point, with Yahoo over 20-percent and Google between 60 – 70 percent.

After the two month honeymoon phase is over, Bing search has gained a percentage point in the market from 8.23 in June to 9.41 this month. Now, this may not sound like a lot but it makes a Bing / Yahoo partnership more understandable.

Consider that last year Yahoo search was over 20-percent in market share and now its numbers are half of that. Also, consider that Google is around 77.5, so with Bing and Yahoo combining forces, there will once again be some semblance of competition.

Bing has also made significant strides in another area as well. Bing Shopping has increased 169-percent since its debut in June. Bing Shopping is now the 4th largest shopping comparison site (with Yahoo Shopping in 1st place).

And, just this week, Microsoft has announced Bing Shopping’s Double Cashback promotion. By purchasing from merchants enrolled in the Cashback promotion, Microsoft will send you a direct check.

In the Bing interface, you sign up under the Extras pull down in the top right corner and then any store that displays the Cashback logo will qualify you for a Microsoft check. Now, for years Microsoft has been lackadaisical about search.

Bill Gates a couple of years ago even commented about how Microsoft underestimated the value of search from the very beginning. But, in 2 months time, Bing has made some serious headway as a tool to search for both information and products.

It may take a while before Bing takes a ding out of Google and gives us a bang for our buck. Google followers are a loyal bunch. But, building a better mousetrap will always turn people in your direction and so let’s see in the weeks and months to come if Bing becomes such a mousetrap.