According to comScore’s March search data, Bing has finally secured over 1/5th of the total organic search market in the United States, stealing partial percentages from both Google and Yahoo between February and March of 2015. Bing’s slow yet steady gains in market share have effectively unseated Search Alliance partner Yahoo from the number two spot, despite the fact that Bing is actually serving Yahoo’s organic results.
The last time Yahoo enjoyed a similar market percentage was in May 2009, two months before Bing’s launch in June 2009. Yahoo’s share of the pie is around 12.7 percent today, thanks in part to a performance boost as a result of a default search partnership with Mozilla’s Firefox browser.
When you factor in the Search Alliance partnership between Yahoo and Bing, the effective reach of Bing’s organic SERPs is nearly 33 percent, which is certainly not a figure to scoff at. Google should be feeling a bit of heat on the back of their neck as tertiary search providers like Bing, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo slowly erode their market share by a few percentage points in aggregate as concerns about search history privacy and user data continue to grow.
Bing and Yahoo – A Shifting Partnership
This news also comes on the heels of a related Yahoo-Bing announcement which will allow Yahoo to begin serving up to 49% of ads on desktop from their own Gemini platform, as well as from other providers such as Google. Yahoo and Google have circled each other for an advertising partnership in the past, with Eric Schmidt himself floating the idea in late 2012 before the idea was crushed by the US Government for anti-trust concerns. In the short term this may seem like a loss for Yahoo, but as their own Gemini platform grows and they learn to better serve contextual ads, having this amount of control over their own campaigns should prove to be beneficial in the long run.