Microsoft has finally won second place among search engines.
Carving out 15.1 percent of the market in December, Bing narrowly outstripped the 14.5 percent share eked out by Yahoo, according to data released yesterday by market researcher ComScore.
Of course, Google still led the search engine market with a whopping 65 percent share.
But December was the first month in which Microsoft outshone its competitor and partner Yahoo, according to a Citi analyst cited by TechCrunch. As always, ComScore's numbers include only explicit core searches that people manually enter on a Web page.
Under the hood, Microsoft and Yahoo use the same search engine technologies. But Yahoo has been gradually shedding share over the past year, while Bing has been soaking up more. A year ago, Yahoo's search market share was 16 percent, while Microsoft was stuck with only 12 percent.
And though Google's lead has stayed firm, its share for December was slightly down from the 66 percent seen a year ago.
Looking at the hardcore numbers, more than 18.2 billion core searches were run last month, a 2 percent gain from November. Among those, Google racked up 12 billion, followed by Microsoft with 2.7 billion and Yahoo with 2.6 billion. Google and Bing showed a 2 percentage point gain in searches from the previous month.
Google's "powered by" searches, which include those at its own sites as well as Google-branded searches at AOL and Ask, grabbed 68.1 percent of all organic searches. Microsoft's "powered by" searches, which cover those at Bing and Yahoo, captured 26.5 percent of all organic searches. Such searches showed a one point gain for Google and a minor dip for Microsoft from November.