Microsoft’s Bing Makes Gains on Google in January

Microsoft Corp.’s Bing search engine gained market share in the U.S. last month, while market leader Google Inc. lost 1 percentage point, according to ComScore Inc.

Bing accounted for 13.1 percent of searches in January, up from 12 percent the previous month, Reston, Virginia-based ComScore said. Google dropped to 65.6 percent.

Microsoft has added search features, stepped up the marketing of Bing and teamed up with former rival Yahoo! Inc. to attract more users. At the same time, it’s drawn complaints from Google that Bing is “copying” query results, rather than relying on its own algorithms. Microsoft denied the accusation, saying the data in question comes from customers.

While Google remains dominant, its loss of market share last month is “meaningful,” Ben Schachter, an analyst with Macquarie Group in New York, said in a research note. Still, ComScore’s data doesn’t capture queries made on mobile devices, where Google may have an even bigger lead, he said.

The companies are vying for a larger piece of search advertising. The market will generate $13.6 billion in the U.S. this year, up from $12.4 billion in 2010, according to New York-based research firm EMarketer Inc.

Microsoft, based in Redmond, Washington, fell 47 cents to $27.50 today on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Google, located in Mountain View, California, dropped 6 cents to $616.44, while Sunnyvale, California-based Yahoo rose 19 cents to $16.62.

Yahoo, which uses Bing on its websites, accounted for 16.1 percent of queries last month, up from 16 percent.

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