While Bing’s use of artificial intelligence (AI) has sent usage of the search engine skyrocketing, Google still remains the top dog with the biggest market share in internet search by a huge margin.
Google has been synonymous with search engines for years, so much so that it is now a common verb for looking something up on the internet (‘Google it’). While Microsoft’s Bing has rebranded and redesigned its service several times since its birth in 2009, it’s only the recent integration of AI that has made it hold its head above the parapet.
Powered by OpenAI’s generative AI technology, the new version of Bing stands out from ChatGPT (backed by the same tech) by answering questions in a natural, easy way. Despite US monthly active Bing users more than doubling year-over-year, reaching 4.4 million in actual terms, Microsoft’s search engine still ended 2023 with only 3.4% of the global search market, reports Bloomberg using data from analytics firm StatCounter. That marks an increase of less than one percentage point since the ChatGPT integration announcement.
The bottom line is in the face of huge increases in the number of people using Bing, Google is still holding steady with the biggest market share in search with a whopping 92%. Perhaps 2024 is the year Google delivers on its plans for defending its position too, with fast-tracked plans to integrate AI into its search services.
Google plans to incorporate AI
In May 2023, Google launched an experimental, early version of its signature search engine, known as the “search generative experience” (SGE). Much like Bing’s counterpart, it delivers conversational responses alongside the familiar list of links that Google users are comfortable with. There’s no need to use a separate tool; rather, AI capabilities are being incorporated into the existing search engine.
SGE is still not widely available, initially open to beta testers via manual sign-ups, but Google has confirmed its plans to embed its latest large language model, Gemini, into SGE sometime in 2024.
On Thursday (Jan.18) the search giant announced Samsung’s new flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S24 will benefit from Gemini, following a joint statement from the two companies.
Featured image: Dall-E