Did You Google Bing?

It’s now been just over one month since the Kumo shroud fell on March 25 and brand Bing was born. In that first week (5/24 — 5/30) Compete saw 719,390 U.S. visitors. In the launch week that followed, U.S. traffic to Bing.com jumped to 21.1 million visitors, generating a 36% lift in traffic to Microsoft search sites. Last week, (6/21 — 6/27), which witnessed the deaths of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett, Microsoft’s U.S. search audience increased further to 27.1 million, a whopping 58% increase for the Microsoft search audience compared to the week in which brand Bing was announced.

What is also noteworthy, is that in the first week following the announcement of brand Bing, but still prior to the official June 1 launch, 97% of visitors to Bing.com overlapped with Google, compared with only 37% and 2% same time period overlap with Yahoo! and AOL respectively. During launch week, the dramatically larger overlap of Bing Googlers continued, relative to the Bing overlap with Yahoo! and AOL.

The table below shows Bing audience overlap for the weeks both prior and during launch of Bing, together with last week’s Bing audience overlap.

  • 97% of the Bing.com audience overlaps with Google Search in the week prior to launch (5/24 — 5/30).
  • 30% of the Bing.com audience overlaps with Yahoo! Search during Bing’s launch week (5/31 — 6/1).
  • The percent of overlap between the Bing audience with AOL, Google, and Yahoo! has changed little between launch week and last week.

I asked Rich Devine, Director of Search Marketing at ZAAZ, his thoughts on these data. He offered:

"When Microsoft last re-productized their search offering, those we spoke to were adamant that they could compete with Google and win Search in the long run based on the quality and relevancy of search results. I believe their early success with Bing is attributed to the marketing and delivery of a product that is alternative and differentiated, both in terms of interface and results sets. I think Compete data bears this out where we’re seeing tremendous response from users who aren’t necessarily ready to switch engine loyalty — but are willing to compare and consider alternatives. When users search comparatively between Google and Bing — they really will experience and see something different."

While we can only speculate as to what any of these data really suggest long-term, Bing attracted over 6 million new US consumers to Microsoft search products to experience it for themselves, compared to the prior week’s traffic. The propensity to be interested in (and perhaps aware of) an opportunity to check out a new search experience was far higher among Google searchers than among other searchers. Now the question is whether the Bing experience has translated interest into actual change in search behaviors. We’ll continue tracking this closely.

Categories: Search

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