Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Will Bing Create More Work For Your Business?

Small business owners today realize that potential customers have abandoned Yellow Page directories in favor of search engines. Whether it be law, dentistry, or landscaping, your customers are searching one of the many search engines out there to find you. Much to your relief, however, the vast majority of your customer-base uses Google.

Google's dominance works to your advantage because you only need to ensure that customers can find you when they search Google. However, Google's position as "king-of-the-search engine" is being challenged by a serious contender - Microsoft.

A few weeks ago, Microsoft launched a new search engine called Bing that the folks out in Redmond hope will be the next...well, Google. What does that mean for small businesses? If Microsoft succeeds, small businesses may have to adjust their strategies to make it easy for customers to find them on Google AND Bing. That unfortunately would mean more time marketing.

However, its not clear yet how different Bing's algorithms are than Google's. If they are significantly different, which the Bing commercials suggest, small businesses owners have to be ready to react so the Bing population can find you. The good news is, the Bing population is still relatively small and declining.

StatCounter reports that, after Bing's introduction, Bing (teal-blue line) peaked at about 16% market share, surpassing Yahoo (yellow line). More interestingly, Bing's user-base seemed to come directly from Google (red line). Notice Google's inverse usage-rates in comparison to Bing's. Based on StatCounter's data, it seems like Bing lost the curiosity factor and Google is back where it started - the overwhelming market leader.

Small business owners can take a temporary sigh of relief, but the battle far from over. Microsoft has sunk about $100 million into Bing, and are not likely to quit marketing Bing. So, SEO pros will undoubtedly continue exploring Bing's behavior, and I will keep you posted.

Have you tried Bing? Did you find any differences between Bing and Google?

1 comment:

  1. I tried it and I think I like Bing better!
    But everyone uses Google...its just more "convenient". Bing, like you said is small...and declining.