Over the past twelve months, Microsoft has spent billions of pounds on advertising to try to make their search engine, Bing, a real competitor to Google.
At the beginning of this year, Microsoft signed a deal with Yahoo which would see all searches on Yahoo being powered by Bing. The work has already begun on implementing this and Bing currently powers about 25% of all searches on Yahoo.
What this means is that even without poaching any of Google’s customers away, Microsoft Bing will make significant gains in the market. According to ComScore’s June 2010 US Search Engine Rankings, Google had a 62.6% market share, Bing 12.7% and Yahoo 18.9%. Therefore, when Bing powers all Yahoo searches, their total market share should be around 31.6% – a figure that starts to look far more satisfying to those at Microsoft and threatening to those at Google.
What do website owners need to do?
On the natural listings, the good news is that the ranking factors do not vary much between Bing and Google. The main differences appear to be that Bing put more weight on domain age and links from external pages with relevant anchor text. While there is not always much you can do about the age of your domain, building up more quality inbound links to your site will not only benefit your ranking on Bing, it is a good thing for Google as well.
On the sponsored side, it is probably worth investing some of your marketing budget into the Bing adCenter – their answer to Google Adwords. Through our management of Bing PPC campaigns, we have seen really good results with the main benefits over Google being: Lower cost per click, higher click through rate and lower bounce rate.
While only time will tell if Microsoft Bing can really compete on the same level as Google, you would be wise not to ignore over 30% of potential search traffic by only getting your site listed on Google.
If you would like any further information on Bing, please contact us.