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Bing passes Yahoo! in Google runner-up stakes

A day in the second-rate sun

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Microsoft's Bing has surpassed Yahoo! to become the world's most popular search engine that isn't Google. At least for the moment.

One June 4, according to data just released by StatCounter Global Stats, Bing accounted for 5.62 per cent of all worldwide searches, compared to Yahoo!'s 5.13 per cent. Meanwhile, Google grabbed a typically monopolistic 87.62 per cent.

In the US, StatCounter says, Bing grabbed 16.28 per cent of June 4 searches, Yahoo! 10.22 per cent, and Google 71.47 per cent. "Steve Ballmer is quoted as saying that he wanted Microsoft to become the second biggest search engine within five years. Following the breakdown in talks to acquire Yahoo at a cost of $40 billion, it looks as if he may have just achieved that with Bing much sooner and a lot cheaper than anticipated," reads a canned statement from Aodhan Cullen, StatCounter CEO.

But you can bet that a sizable portion of Redmond's recent traffic leap is only temporary. Bing made its debut just this week, and it's still riding the media-coverage wave.

"It remains to be seen if Bing falls away after the initial novelty and promotion but at first sight it looks like Microsoft is on to a winner," Cullen says.

You could also argue that Microsoft's Yahoo! leapfrog has something to do with Bing's undoubted talent for delivering online porn. But this too is temporary. Microsoft has already tossed out a short-term antidote for Bing's porn-loving ways, and a more substantial fix is on the way. ®

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