Bing may be, but it has yet to generate growth in ad dollars for Microsoft, according to a report released Tuesday.
Microsoft's share of search engine ad spending for the second quarter stayed flat at less than 6 percent, according to the report by research firm SearchIgnite. That's the same level it's been for the past several years.
"Microsoft appears to be focusing its efforts on driving consumer interest and capturing increased search query share," said Roger Barnette, president of SearchIgnite. "We have not yet seen this translate into more paid search advertising dollars for Microsoft, although typically consumer adoption precedes advertiser adoption."
Meanwhile, Microsoft's one-time acquisition target Yahoo lost ground in the second quarter, with only 17 percent of the market. But top dog Google continued to rise, grabbing a 77 percent market share for search engine ad spending.
However, don't count out Bing just yet. The report noted that research groups have tracked Bing's share of the search query market growinglast month. Ad spending typically lags behind search queries. If consumer interest continues, Bing could enjoy a boost in ad dollars for the third quarter.
Overall, the market for search engine ad spending flourished in the second quarter. The report noted that retail firms spent 36 percent more on paid search engines than in 2008's second quarter. Spending just for the month of June shot up 55 percent from June 2008.
"We've seen very strong paid search spend from retailers for the last several quarters," said Barnette, "a trend that can be attributed to an increase in retailers' promotional activity as they turn to heavy discounting and sales to drive purchases."
For this latest report, SearchIgnite tracked 500 marketers using Google, Yahoo, and MSN/Bing for the quarter ended June 30.