comScore recently released their United States search engine rankings market share report. Back in February, Google posted its highest U.S. market share on record and clearly still holds the lion’s share of the U.S. search market currently, their biggest competitor Bing, and similar search engines “Powered-By-Bing” such as Yahoo are making a good bid to compete in the same space as the gargantuan search company.
Don’t Underestimate Bing
Four years ago Yahoo and Microsoft entered a partnership in order to help combat Google in a David v Goliath-esque fight, and it cannot be said that Bing is succeeding, but it cannot be said that it is failing either. In the space of three years Bing has increased its total combined market share to near 30%, and which is an impressive statistic given that in the United Kingdom, Bing has failed to succeed at all, and Google is sitting happily upon its throne with over 89% of the UK market share.
It was also announced last month that Bing would be the default search engine for iOS 7 SIRI queries. On top of this Facebook has unveiled its “Graph Search” which is also going to be “Powered-By-Bing”. Microsoft is certainly making its strategic partnerships with these new age companies such as Apple & Yahoo, and will not go without a fight.
Most recently several of the companies detailed above have been involved in privacy scandals, all of which coming out after the date of which this data goes to, so it will be interesting to see if there are any movements regarding that front upon the release of the latest figures. Duck Duck Go, a search engine dedicated to not recording user information and not personalising results has been seeing large increases in their traffic most likely related to the aforementioned, however it is unlikely they will become a serious player in the market, at least for some time yet.
“Build for Google, and Bing will take care of itself”
While in some aspects this is indeed the case, this sort of thinking is very prevalent in our industry, and very wrong. Bing has made huge strides with their Webmaster Tools offering, to the point where the tools and insights it offers could potentially dwarf that of those gleaned from Google’s own Webmaster Tools console. It is clear that Bing and Google attribute different weight to different signals, the proportions of which are a hotly debated subject amongst the industry. There are some objects that are quantifiable such as the HTML Lang attribute which Bing use, and Google disregard completely.
If your organisation operates in the United States, and you still aren’t giving Bing the time of day, you’re missing a trick – and potentially not optimising for almost a third of all your potential traffic, certainly nothing to stick your nose up at.