Google grabs 71% of U.S. searches, Bing slips

The search battle between Microsoft, Google rages on

After nearly a year of competition with Microsoft's Bing search engine, Google is hanging tough, grabbing more than 71% of all U.S. searches last month.

Showing a 2% increase over March, Google accounted for 71.4% of U.S.-based searches in April, according to Hitwise, an online traffic monitor.

Hitwise also reported today that rivals Yahoo and Bing didn't fair quite so well. Yahoo, which is in second place in terms of U.S. search market share, slipped 1%, dropping to 14.96% in April. And Bing, dropped 2%, hitting 9.43% for the month.

"I don't want to read the future from one month's numbers, but it looks like so far Bing hasn't given people a reason to switch," said Ezra Gottheil, an analyst for Technology Business Research. "Most people don't change their work habits, or any other habits for that matter, without good reason.

"If Bing wants to eat away at Google's lead, it has to be enough better that people switch their defaults, change their start pages, and remember to type in Bing instead of Google," he said. "If it's just as good, people won't bother."

Bing and Google have been going back and forth in the last 10 months or so. One month, one will creep ahead, while the other slips. The next month, the pattern reverses.

So far, Bing has failed to make a big dent in Google's numbers. Microsoft, though, isn't giving up. Over the past year, it has devoted a lot of money and development resources to capturing some of Google's hefty share of the search market.

And while Microsoft hasn't yet made sizeable inroads, Gottheil noted that the new search engine hasn't tanked either.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her e-mail address is

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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