“Google” is by far the most searched term on Bing, according to an attorney working for Google’s parent company, Alphabet. According to BloombergGoogle made this argument by trying to overturn its $ 5 billion EU antitrust fine, using the statistic as evidence that people are using Google by choice, not by force.
The fine that Google is facing comes from the European Commission, which claims that Google has abused its position as maker of Android. The regulator says Google will have to stop forcing handset makers to pre-install Chrome and Google Search if they want to have Android. Google’s argument? That most people would just use their search engine anyway.
According to statistics compiled by SEO firm Ahrefs, “google” is indeed the most searched term on Bing in the world. It is followed by “youtube”, “facebook”, “gmail” and “amazon”, but it beats second by approximately 5 million searches. When it comes to data only for the United States, Facebook is number one with Google being number three. At first glance, it looks like people are using Microsoft’s search engine to access Google’s.
But wait a minute. According to statistics from Ahrefs, “bing homepage quiz” is the fifth most searched term for Bing in the United States, and “bing” itself is the seventh. The proper name of the search engine is the tenth most searched term in the world. What is happening here?
Well, part of this may be some flaws. For Microsoft Edge (and Internet Explorer before that), Bing is the default search engine – if you type something in this bar that isn’t a URL, it will take you to the Bing results page. If you’ve ever seen someone who isn’t particularly computer savvy try to visit a website, you might know where it leads. For a lot of people, typing in “Google” and clicking on the first link that appears is how they get to Google, and it’s the same with Facebook, YouTube, and any other website they try to visit. Why bother adding a .com at the end when you can usually get to what you’re looking for with one more click?
Of course, most technicians know why this is not the best solution. I have personally had to help relatives who caught viruses because someone made a malicious ad that appeared as the top result on Google when searching for a popular website. But that’s how some people use the web. The numbers are also potentially boosted by Bing’s integration with the Start menu search bar. If you click on any of the web results, it will take you directly to the Microsoft search engine (and people can often search for “Google” there, given the popularity of Google Chrome).
When contacted to ask if he could verify what Bing’s most searched term was, Microsoft said it had nothing to share. Google also did not respond to The edgerequest for comments.
As to whether that helps or hurts Google’s argument, it’s really up to the judge to decide. It’s just funny that, at least in part, Microsoft’s default search helped Google make its case against the massive fine being proposed for his default search.