Bing Plus Yahoo Now Equals Yahoo’s Market Share In 2005

carol bartz, steve ballmer, laughing

Bing now powers 30% of all searches in the U.S., according to March statistics released today by Experian Hitwise.

Direct use of Bing was up 6% from February, and Yahoo Search — powered by Bing — was up 5%.

Google searches were down 3% from last month, dipping under 65% for the first time.

The 30% landmark is symbolic because that’s approximately where Yahoo’s search market share was when Microsoft first launched its own search engine in early 2005.

MSN Search — which was powered by Yahoo’s Inktomi before Microsoft built its own search technology — was around 15% at that time.

Since Microsoft entered the market, Google has nearly doubled its share at both companies’ expense, but for the last year or so Bing has gained a few fractions of a point every month — at least in the U.S.

Worldwide, Google still dominates with between 80% and 90% share, depending on who’s measuring.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer boasted about the 30% combined market share last month, but today’s report is the first independent confirmation.

Here’s the Experian chart: