Microsoft's Bing is hanging onto its 14.4 percent of the search engine market, according to new data out yesterday from ComScore.
Looking at ComScore's U.S. search engine rankings for July, Bing stayed flat, Google lost just 0.4 of a percentage point, and Yahoo climbed slightly by 0.2 points. Overall, Google still led the way with an overwhelming 65.1 percent market share, leaving Yahoo in second place with 16.1 percent.
Drilling down to the actual number of searches conducted in the U.S. last month, Google took home 11.2 billion in total, a gain of 2 percent from June. Yahoo captured 2.8 billion, up 4 percent. And Bing accounted for 2.5 billion, a 3 percent gain.
Overall, Internet users ran more than 17.1 billion searches last month, up 3 percent from June.
As always, ComScore's results factor in only explicit core searches that people manually enter on a Web page.
Counting organic or "powered by" search results, ComScore found that 26.8 percent of all searches were powered by Bing (which includes those at Yahoo), up slightly from 26.6 percent in June. Google's powered-by share (which includes those at AOL.com and Ask.com) was 67.2 percent, a small dip from 67.6 percent in June.
The question of whether Microsoft should sell Bing received some attention late last month following a Reuters opinion piece. Citing the huge amount of cash that Microsoft has poured into Bing and the losses in the online services division, Reuters columnist Robert Cyran felt it's time for the folks in Redmond to unload their search engine.
But countering that argument was Computerworld's Preston Gralla, who noted that Bing and its powered-by-Yahoo searches still can bring in a lot of revenue. The columnist also said that Bing is core to the future of Microsoft, especially in the area of mobile where the company needs ad sales from online searches for Windows Phone to be successful.