So, I guess if you’re here, you’ve read the title, probably had a good laugh, Bing vs Google, there’s no contest, obviously, Google wins, right?
Well in most cases, within the current search climate you’d be right in thinking that, but there are a couple of demographics and areas where Bing reigns supreme and as time moves on, looks to dominate Google further. So, let’s take a look at the five factors that are causing this shift and potential Google upset while suggesting your business should invest in Bing now rather than later!
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The older demographic
Let’s start with an area of the search market that Bing has pretty much dominated since its inception: The older demographic. Over 65% of those aged 45 or over use Bing instead of Google, and as we know, with an ageing population, that’s a potentially substantial market.
And when you begin to dive further into that demographic information you’ll find that 75% of them are men. So, if you’re based in the Business to Business (B2B) sector, in most cases you’ll be selling to business owners and with the average UK business owner being aged 50 and male, Bing is somewhere you want to ensure your business is ranking, and so makes the perfect argument for why you should be investing in Bing Ads as well, especially as in most sectors the cost-per-click is much lower than on Google.
Having said all this it’s worth noting that one of the biggest tech search queries on Bing is: “Google”.
But with a huge demographic, potentially made up of a large number of business owners and senior decision-making staff, Bing is well worth a share of your marketing budgets investment. And what’s key here is finding a search agency that has a working knowledge of Bing to help you get the most out of it for your business. Why not give our experienced SEO team a call today!
The Launch of Windows 10
In 2015 Microsoft launched its long-anticipated Windows 10 operating system and current Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, with his strong belief in the success of Bing Search, ensured it was integrated into the very heart of Windows 10.
And as of May 2017, there are now a total of half a billion Windows 10 devices on the market from desktop PCs and tablets to the Xbox One gaming consoles and various voice search devices.
And with Bing’s share of the UK search market increasing from a measly 9.8% back in 2008, to 21.6% in 2016 and as of June 2017 now up to an impressive 26.1%, correlating significantly with the launch and growth of Windows 10 devices, it’s clear that moving forward Bing is one to watch. So, by getting in early, by optimising your website for Bing and investing in Bing Ads you can ensure your business captures the biggest search footprint, by not only being ranked highly on Google but also with Bing.
Growth of Voice Search
Since I wrote a similar article to this back in Summer 2016, the UK voice search market has changed dramatically with Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Home devices launching. But as part of Windows 10 and the numerous devices it is installed on as the operating system, Microsoft created its own voice search assistant, Cortana, who is powered by Bing Search to help you find the weather forecast, best travel routes or answer questions you may have.
Cortana was and is one of the top voice search assistants and as we have seen over the last year, with those product launches from Amazon and Google, voice search is becoming central to the way we search. I myself aren’t a massive voice search user on my mobile device, but I do have several Alexa devices at home in which I use to ask for local business recommendations, check train and bus times and ask the odd question to. But the big discussion point at Brighton SEO over the last couple years has been the growth of voice search, and the way we can optimise for it.
When we use voice to search, we use long tail keywords, often being anywhere between 5 and 10 words in length, which differs significantly to typed search queries, which usually average 1-3 keywords. And with Bing underpinning Cortana (as well as a couple other devices we’ll discuss in my next point), it’s a vital factor in the growth of Bing’s success and something to definitely take into consideration when optimising your website’s SEO.
One of the things I alluded to in my last paragraph was the that Bing Search not only underpins Microsoft’s Cortana voice assistant but also a number of other devices. And those devices come through strategic (and quite surprising) partnerships.
Apples’ Siri is probably the most well-known and up until the launch of Alexa and Google’s Home, was the most widely used voice assistant, well Siri’s search functionality is all powered by Bing, the same can be said for Apple’s Safari web browser which is the built-in web browser for all apple mobile and desktop devices.
Amazon’s Alexa device has also been mentioned several times within this article and this again is powered by Bing Search, in a move that saw Amazon move away from its Android based framework that the old Fire tablets were built on, as they began to increase in competition with Google over the voice assistant device market.
These powerful strategic partnerships have placed Bing Search at the very soul of the voice search market and make it an impressive competitor against Google in this space. And as we highlight in the last factor, voice search is only going to grow, meaning Bing’s influence is currently at an all-time high.
Whether these partnerships continue past their current contract life spans is another matter and obviously something to consider, when really looking at Bing’s success going forward.
A new direction for Google
Over the last couple years, we’ve seen Google make some substantial changes to the layout of its search result pages (SERPs), from removing the right-side ads and increasing the number of ads in search results from two to four, to favour rich card content, which pushes other search results further down the page.
All of this favours bigger business, who either have more money to spend on AdWords or the likes of news and encyclopaedic sites like Wikipedia which often fill the rich card space.
This obviously makes it much harder for those smaller businesses that offer great products and services to appear within those top 10 results and specifically the top 3 search results, which see the highest click-through-rate. But of course, Google has provided a push to its localised search functionality with the Pigeon update which can help local small/medium businesses, but even map results now contain paid ads, favouring those with that bit more cash to spend, which doesn’t necessarily mean they offer the best products or services.
These changes are a rather drastic move from Google, away from their original user-focused experience, which would allow a business no matter what their turnover or size to have a chance of ranking in the number one spot, as long as they followed Google’s guidelines, provided high quality engaging content and build strong backlinks from relevant, reputable source.
But now as they move to a more monetized model, which no business owner could blame them for doing, when they currently own a 67% share of the market, it leaves those business owners and marketers from small to medium businesses, looking to how they can increase their web traffic and conversions organically.
And Bing, with it’s still growing user base and utilising a user-focused approach as Google once did, provide the perfect space, to ensure the optimisation of your company’s website to receive one of those vital top three ranking spots.
So, what does this all mean?
So, what does this all mean for the SEO world and your business’ digital marketing investments? Well, we’re still a little way off a big Google upset, but Bing is making inroads every year and substantially increasing its share of the market, using strategic partnerships and the latest search technology. So just as Bing Search is getting in early with technology, it’s worthwhile to your business, to get its feet wet and get in early with Bing, both in terms of paid and organic search, so if a Google upset does occur you’re not left in the dust by your competitors.