Microsoft’s fast, effective, and attractive new search engine, Bing, sent the company’s searcher penetration and share of search results pages up 1.7 percent and 2 percent respectively in just its first week.
According to Reston, Virgina-based comScore, one of the world’s leading and most trusted digital trend-tracking firms, “Microsoft Sites increased its average daily penetration among U.S. searchers from 13.8 percent during the period of May 26-30 to 15.5 percent during the period of June 2-6, 2009, an indication that the search engine is reaching more people than before. Microsoft’s share of search result pages in the U.S., a proxy for overall search intensity, increased from 9.1 percent to 11.1 percent during the same time frame.”
“These initial data suggest that Microsoft Bing has generated early interest, resulting in a spike in search engagement and an immediate term improvement to Microsoft’s position in the search market,” said Mike Hurt, comScore senior vice president. “So far it appears that the lifts in searcher penetration and engagement have held relatively steady throughout the five-day period. The ultimate performance of Bing depends on the extent to which it generates more trial through its extensive launch campaign and whether it retains those trial users. It appears it is off to a good start.”
While anecdotal information suggests that Bing is returning results at least as relevant as the search engine king, Google, the colorful newcomer has clearly demonstrated that search engine results pages (SERPs) can be attractive and easier to read. As an example, Bing includes a left column with related search information. While this column is interesting, it nudges the actual search results closer to the middle of the screen and provides superior white space, making the page far easier to read than Google’s SERPs. The new search engine’s use of color also makes it easier for users to distinguish between organic search results and paid ads.