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: