Ask anyone to perform a web search on any topic and they’ll most likely fire up Google as the search engine of choice. Google’s popularity is so embedded in our digital lives that we actually refer to it as a verb: I Google, you Google, he Googles, she Googles, etc. But what about Microsoft’s contribution to the search engine world, Bing? Recently Microsoft has announced plans to revamp the distant-second search engine in both functionality and design. Should that make a difference to your website marketing strategies? It might.
At Rebel Trail, whenever we discuss marketing options with our clients, we often hear “I want to be in the top 5 with Google”. While we employ a number of methods to make that request a reality, we will caution our clients to not ignore Bing or Yahoo. Combined, Bing and Yahoo account for about 30% of search engine traffic, while Google claims about 66%. Obviously Google is the preferred marketing vehicle, but there are several reasons to not ignore Bing, and its market share is growing.
While Bing’s market share is about 16% it’s important to look at the landscape of that percentile. Most Fortune 500 and blue chip companies use a combination of Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office as their primary operating system and productivity software. These companies are far more likely to use Microsoft Internet Explorer (MSIE) as the default browser as it is already integrated in the operating system. It is also likely that these companies mandate that their employees use internet Explorer on any office hardware. What is the default search engine for Internet Explorer? You guessed it… Bing.
The logical conclusion is that if the target market of your website is other businesses, then Bing may be an overlooked source of marketing muscle. Bing’s 16% of the overall search engine market may be much higher in your target audience if your website is geared towards other businesses or companies. Google’s market share is primarily made up of individuals and personal consumers. While Google’s market share is growing as well, its rate of growth is slowing down while Bing is speeding up.
Bing has also announced plans to revamp its search engine in June. They plan to make their search results more relevant and also incorporate better social media tools. The Bing upgrade is designed to take more market share away from the Google behemoth, while making search results more accurate and friendly. Even if Bing is only partially successful with their redeveloped style and functionality, it will likely see an increased market share by the end of the year.