Looking at it from an engine perspective, Google has 65 percent of the U.S. market and Bing has 26 percent. Sure there are differences in how people get to the search engines, but when it comes down to selling ads on results pages, Microsoft's gone from 0 to 26 percent in short order: MSN Search started in 1998, but it limped along as an also-also-ran until Bing started a little over a year ago.
With something like 15 billion U.S. search pages delivered every month, Microsoft now controls more than 100 million U.S. search result pages a day. Ka-ching.
The next explosive growth in search will take place on mobile platforms, and Microsoft's scurrying to catch up. A couple of months ago, something like 98 percent of all mobile searches belonged to Google. That's changing rapidly. While Google's the default iPhone search engine, Bing's iPhone app has certainly helped increase mobile search numbers. Verizon has announced that it will include a Bing search app in its Android Marketplace, and it will ship the app with all new Android phones. The new Verizon Fascinate ships with Bing as the default search engine and, as noted in the Today @ PC World blog, "the only way to remove Bing is by hacking the phone."
While Google and Microsoft fight for market share, one big question remains unanswered: Who will pay for mobile ads?
This article, "Bing nudges out Yahoo Search -- but mobile holds the key," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog.