Google bites Bing back, recovers all usage losses since spring

If the last two months should be interpreted as Microsoft suggests, with Bing's gradual ascent in usage share against Google as a sign of Bing's inevitably catching up, then a similar interpretation of September's numbers from live analytics firm StatCounter should be taken as a sign of Bing's ultimate demise. A sampling of five billion or more US page views from Web sites accessed by StatCounter in September reveals that, of the world's top three search services, Google's usage share has climbed back just above 80%, and is flirting with last November's peak of 81.14% -- meaning Google is back to serving four out of five US-based general queries.

Bing's usage share in the US descended by 1.13% to 8.51% for the month of September, while Yahoo's dove 1.1% to 9.4%. Google's share among the top three has now climbed above where it stood in May (78.72%), when Microsoft changed the name of Windows Live Search.

While Bing's ascent worldwide was much more of a crawl since last May, according to StatCounter statistics, its global usage share in September fell about a quarter-point to 3.25%, while Yahoo lost almost half a point globally to 4.37%. Google ate up both services' loss worldwide, with global usage share now standing at 90.54%.

With the first day of October not even complete, StatCounter's live assessment of trends for the remainder of the month don't hold out much hope for recovery for Bing. Only 6.43% of StatCounter's sampled US queries thus far for the day (as of 2:47 pm EDT) came from Bing, while Yahoo trended up at 9.62% -- Google's share thus far is over 82%. Fewer than 3% of searches sampled worldwide belong to Bing at present.

What's important to note is that StatCounter's statistics focus primarily on searches conducted through just those three services, tossing out about 2% of searches as "Other." Worldwide, Bing is not the world's #3 search engine -- Baidu, based in China, is; and a competitor to StatCounter tracks Baidu's traffic as somewhat more significant than "Other."

A live sampling of global searches as assessed by NetApplications (with figures for Baidu recomputed to exclude searches it generates automatically for itself) shows Bing with 3.39% of global search traffic for the first day of October, well above that of #5 provider (0.58%). Baidu comes in at 4.38%, with Yahoo at 6.84%.

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