Bing Vs Google: How Does This Affect Our SEO?
Chitika released a study revealing that out of all the major search engines, Google searches resulted in the lowest click-through rate(CTR). Out of the top 5 major search engines listed, (AOL, Google, Ask.com, Yahoo, and Bing) AOL searches had the highest with a CTR of 2.5%. Ask (1.76%), Bing (1.74%), and Yahoo (1.37%) all scored higher than Google (.98%). What does this mean for us hubbers and how does this affect our SEO?
Google still dominates the search market (84.13%). Yahoo (7.40%) and Bing (5.75%) follow. Both Ask and AOL trail behind with less then 1.5% of total Internet searches. What does all this information mean? Let's break it down and analyze the data we have.
If AOL has the highest CTR of the top 5 search engines, why talk about Bing? Bing is very special. Bing is Microsoft's brainchild launched to compete against the giant we all know today as Google. Microsoft's Live.com was lacking and Bing is it's successor. Bing is worth watching for a few key reasons. Bing is new. Very new. Bing is less than 1 year old and it has already controlling 5.75% of the Internet's searches. It is very likely that Bing will overtake Yahoo by it's first birthday. We all know Yahoo was king in the golden years of the Internet. That's quite an accomplishment for Bing. Another thing to note is Bing's CTR. It's over 70% higher than Google's searches. More clicks mean more money to advertisers.
It's no secret that Microsoft has money. By dominating the desktop for years with it's Windows software, Microsoft opened it's wallet and spent some change on advertising. Guess who Microsoft went to? Google. Just when Bing was released, I noticed lots of ads on Youtube promoting Bing. At first I thought it was a conflict of interest seeing Youtube (owned by Google) advertising a competitor. Then I was reminded of the numerous times Microsoft was sued because of anti-trust issues. Curious, I decided to try Bing out. Going to Bing's homepage, I noticed a nice background. Bing changes their background every day and the majority of them are visually stunning. That's a pretty cool theme they got going. It's much different that Google's approach of simplicity. Sometimes, Google would change their "Google" picture on holidays but that isn't nearly as flashy as what Bing has. When Bing's homepage finish loading, a few shaded squares fade in and out. Hovering on these squares will tell you small facts or a story about the picture. If you are curious, Bing also provides links to read more.
Is it worth it to try Bing. Yes. Sometimes, change is good. For the consumer, competition is always good. Is it worth it to try to rank on Bing? No. At least, not yet. Google still makes it up on volume. Currently, Google is king but with the ever changing interweb, Google could see itself dethrowned in the future. It's still very important for us hubbers to rank high on Google but we should also keep our eyes opened for change.
Variables To Keep In Mind
Privacy is and has always been a hot topic on the Internet. The less privacy we have, the more money companies make. Privacy has become somewhat of a commodity. Companies that advocate privacy are more respected and gains more trust.
Why would Mozilla endorse Bing? Many have speculated and here are my thoughts. Google is actually the main contributor to Mozilla. Why would Mozilla bite the hand that feed them? Mozilla's contract with Google is looking to expire in 2011. It is very likely that Google will not renew their contract with Mozilla. This past year. Google announced it's own web browser dubbed "Google Chrome". By launching it's own web browser, Google is basically going to compete against Firefox. This move could've sparked bad blood between the two. Mozilla in turn retaliates by pushing it's users to use Bing. A sort of "lesser of two evils" type move. The drama has only begun.
Mozilla's move to use Bing has certainly had it's impact. That's actually what fired me up to write this article. I've been a Firefox fan since day 1. When they talk, people will listen. Currently, Mozilla advertises a very popular addon called "Adblock Plus". This is one of many addons that eliminates all of Google's ads and most other ads. If I was Google, I wouldn't be happy about this. Control over their own ads might be one of the reasons Google launched their own web browser. It's definitely in their best interest to keep their ads visible and Firefox is not helping. When you stop someone from making money, they will react. Sure enough, Google Chrome was launched and heavily advertised on Youtube. This gave Chrome the boost they needed to enter the Browser War.
Google threw another variable into the puzzle when they announced a future release of Google Chrome OS, their computer operating system. This move pitted Chrome OS in direct competition with Microsoft's Windows, Apple's OS, and the various Linux distros. In a possible defensive move, this pushed Microsoft to reclaim their foothold on the Internet by replacing Live.com with Bing. This all reminded me of a big game of chess. Each move is critical with each side countering one another. Which move will ultimately end the match?
Google CEO on Privacy
Let's Look Into The Crystal Ball
Unfortunately, I can't see into the future. However, I will use my synthesis thinking to plot a possible outcome. It is very likely that Bing will overtake Yahoo. There are too many factors that support my prediction. Besides Yahoo lacking in everything, Bing has a mountain of support behind it. Bing has the financial support from Microsoft which is having recent success with their Windows 7 launch. Bing also has the support of Firefox which currently owns the browser marketshare with 47%. Internet Explorer follows with 37.7% and Chrome (8.5%), Safari (3.8%), and Opera (2.3%) trailing behind. If Mozilla continues to aggressively campaign for Bing, we could see a big jump for Bing in a few month. If not, I still say Bing will overtake Yahoo in search volumes by it's 1 year birthday.
Google will have to use it's success with Android OS (for mobile devices) to funnel consumers to Chrome OS. Google's cloud computing stance had recently taken a hit when Amazon's EC2 cloud computer system was hacked by Zeus, a password logging botnet responsible for nearly $100 million worth of bank fraud. This botnet created fake pages where users would attempt to log in. Cloud Computing have been highly criticized for it's security flaws and haiving Google's Chrome OS base their system on it creates further distrust in the OS.
I see Google offering it's users services for free and then linking it with their operating system. For instance, in a recent update of Google Maps on Android, Google gave it's users free turn by turn navigation on their mobile devices. Yes, I now have a free GPS for my T-Mobile Mytouch 3G. It's a pretty sweet deal considering some carriers offer GPS for a price. Google will offer such goodies and get it's users dependant on it. Possibly, at launch of their Chrome OS, they will drive in bulk users by offering to "link" their Google account with the new OS. Much like the way us Hubbers "link" our Google Adsense accounts with our Analytics account. Convenience will be the selling point.
I wish I can say Microsoft will be agressively promoting Bing. I am reminded of the Zune. Microsoft, being a large corporation, was slow to react to the big MP3 marketplace. The Zune was trailing Apple's insanely successful Ipod from day one. Microsoft was too slow mobilizing the Zune. It launch very late in the game and it was simply too late to get a decent share in the marketplace. Is Microsoft pushing Bing enough? I'd have to say no. Some of my people have never even heard of Bing. On the other hand Google is a household name. Microsoft needs to move Bing in that direction. Outsource if they have to. Google is outsourcing help from Canonical with Chrome OS. Microsoft needs to do the same with Bing.
What About Us Hubbers?
We should pay attention. There are big things going on and we need to be aware of it. What works today might not work tomorrow. Most of us are making money from Adsense but that could change in the near future. Some of you might doubt the significance of Bing. Just remember. People also thought Google would never overtake Yahoo. They did. AOL was huge and then it crumbled. This is the Internet. Technology changes all the time. How long will Google reign? I don't know. Let's be aware of things. One day, Bing might open an "Adsense" and take over. As of today, keep using Adsense and keep your SEO targeted to Google. Just be aware of Bing creeping up.
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