Microsoft’s search engine has passed Yahoo to take over the spot as the second most-popular search in the U.S., according to new figures from Nielsen. The latest survey by the traffic-ranking firm shows that Microsoft’s MSN/Windows Live/Bing search had almost a 14-percent share of the overall search volume in August, which put it almost a full percentage point above Yahoo. Microsoft’s share is going to increase even more in the future: The company officially took over running Yahoo’s search operations last month, so from now on, Yahoo will no longer exist as a separate search entity.
Microsoft is still a distant second place compared with Google, which accounted for 65 percent of all searches. Even if Microsoft’s Bing-powered search and Yahoo’s search results are combined, the two still only account for about 26 percent of search volume, according to Nielsen. However, Microsoft’s share of search has been climbing over the past year: The survey showed its traffic has increased by more than three percentage points — a relative increase of 30 percent — while Google’s has stayed relatively stable. Meanwhile, AOL and Ask.com have a minuscule two percent of the search market.
Nielsen’s data is somewhat different from some of the other measurement firms that track search traffic, such as comScore and ad-serving firm Chitika (which said that according to its numbers, Bing passed Yahoo earlier this year), because Nielsen measures only what it calls “genuine intentional searches” — in other words, what people type into a search box — rather than “contextual” searches that are automatically generated by search engines based on a person’s browsing behavior.
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