Recent comScore data has revealed that search engine Bing is slowly creeping up on competitor Yahoo. The search share figures for January 2012 show Bing ahead of its immediate competitor for the US market. This is a major change for the search industry, which has seen Yahoo as second-place holder for quite some time.

The Microsoft search engine crept up to take 15.2% of the explicit search market compared to Yahoo’s 14.1%. Explicit core searches are those that involve clear searches, as opposed to other actions within the search engine. Bing increased its share of the market by only 0.1% compared to December. Yahoo, however, suffered a loss of 0.4%.

The share figures are further evidence of Bing’s increasing threat to its immediate competitor. The Microsoft search engine has climbed steadily in its share of search since the company signed a deal with Yahoo to provide search results in 2010. At the time, Bing held only around 9% compared to Yahoo’s 19% of the search market.

Google continues to be the clear leader in search, drawing 66.2% of the explicit search activity. This is an increase on December’s 65.9%, and another sign of Yahoo’s slow decline.

While Google remains the focus of most search engine optimisation activity, the shift in positions for the lesser two search engines should be of interest to anyone involved in SEO. With Bing slowly but surely gaining attention from internet users, site owners and SEO experts are well advised to take Bing into consideration when plotting out a search engine optimisation plan.

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