Is Microsoft’s Bing a raving success in Australia?

Microsoft’s new search engine Bing has been getting some serious buzz lately. We thought it would be interesting to see where in the world it’s been the most popular so far.

To get an idea of this, we used Google stats (oh, the irony) to see the popularity of the search term “Bing” in the last 30 days. Since it’s a pretty common word, we restricted our lookup to include only the “computers & electronics” category to get around this (in Google Insights for Search). No Sopranos references should have snuck in…

What we found was, at least to us here at the Pingdom office, a wee bit surprising:

Somehow we had expected the United States to top this list, or really close to it.

However, so far Microsoft’s Bing seems to have garnered way more interest in Australia, India and China than it has in the Unites States (which comes in at number four on this list). Bing is twice as popular in Australia as it is the United States, and more than three times as popular as it is in Canada.

Any theories as to why this might be?

Note: The data from Google Insights for Search is normalized, so it shows interest relative to the number of Internet users (or total number of searches, we’re not sure) in that country. This is done so that countries with large populations don’t automatically dominate all results.

8 comments

    1. @Filip: Thanks for chiming in. That does make sense, but the curve rose significantly when Bing was announced. It could explain the AU dominance, though. Nice catch.

  1. The Bing Lee theory is so bizarre as to be laughable. Bing Lee is a chain that only has a presence in NSW, and then nearly exclusively in Sydney. While Sydney might be our largest city, it’s not by a huge margin (around 500-600k last time I looked). You also need to consider that Google has a search market share here of around 90-92% depending on the figures quoted.

    My bet is two fold. NineMSN (the local version of MSN) is still fairly popular here, primarily due to it being default in IE. NineMSN are pushing Bing hard.

    But the bigger factor is with Hotmail. Hotmail/ Live Mail has always remained fairly popular in Australia (Yahoo was never as big here), and guess what happens when you log out of Hotmail…. you get taken to Bing.

    My wife turned around to me the other evening after logging out of her Live email account (she doesn’t like Gmail…I’ve never understood why), and said to me “what’s Bing?” In front of her was the front page of Bing….and she hadn’t asked to go there, she was taken there after logging out.

    Australia’s popularity in regards to Bing reflects the popularity of Hotmail/ Live mail and has little to nothing to do with Bing Lee.

  2. @Duncan: Thanks for sharing your insights. You make a good point. A relatively high popularity of MSN/Hotmail would certainly have an effect, especially if they are pushing Bing hard.

  3. I guess its popularity in India and China is mostly because of the huge Population and growing number of Internet Users… Australia i don’t know… Doesn’t make any sense why Australia is more… US and Canada should be at the Top! 🙂

  4. Why so popular in Asia?
    Perhaps we need to look at what Bing means in Chinese?

    As far as webmail programs are concerned, I sympathize with your wife: people get used to one thing for email and tend to stick it. I still use Yahoo mail and I love it. I had a Hotmail account at first but got so much spam that I abandoned it. Gmail? Never liked it.
    But this same mindset is also true for search engines. People don’t just use Google because it provides relevant results, they ALSO use it out of habit. Habits, as your wife shows, are hard to break; so it will be hard for Bing to take market share from Google. But I think it may modestly succeed. I switched to Bing just to check it out, and like it so much that it has become my default search engine. For me, the searches are a bit better, but others have reported weaker results than Google. I guess it depends on what you are searching for.

  5. Aussies are generally a slower bread, I suggest that Bing is easier to remember than google as its less letters.

    Also in Australian, Bing is pronounced Beeeng, not sure how this helps.

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