[Tech] No Room for Bing in Britain?

Which search engine do you use? I was somewhat taken aback today to read that Microsoft’s Bing has captured more than 30% of the US search market. It’s not a terrible service, but I’ve never seen what it offers over Google.

I’m a big Google fan and use docs, calendar and Gmail extensively. It’s also true that every single person I know uses Google as their main search engine with the exception of my friend’s partner who uses the default Bing search on her IE install because she “can’t be bothered to change it”. That said my friends and colleagues aren’t necessarily a good representative cross-section of all UK internet users.

Still nearly a third of the whole search market seemed high to me. Of course Big also powers Yahoo searches too, which accounts for about half of that 30 percent. Still I don’t know anyone who uses Yahoo either.

Bing is struggling to navigate the murky waters of the UK search market

Bing is struggling to navigate the murky waters of the UK search market

A quick straw poll around the office confirmed my suspicions, the vast majority of my colleagues had never even heard of Bing, let alone ever used it. So I checked out the stats for the UK search market, and the results were intriguing. According to ImpactMedia’s results for March in the UK Google attracts exactly 90 percent of all UK search traffic.

The difference with the US is startling. Perhaps we in the UK are less enamoured of Microsoft generally. Maybe Microsoft have spent more money advertising Bing in the US (their campaign here is only just kicking off – with terrible ads like the one above). Maybe Americans are more distrustful of Google and it’s ever more insidious reach into every aspect of our online lives.

On the hand maybe it’s even more complicated and nefarious than that. Microsoft certainly think so. They’ve filed a complaint with the European Commission about Google’s allegedly anti-competitive practises this side of the Atlantic.

Whatever the reason, one thing is clear, in Europe there really is only one king of search.

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