In terms of market dominance Google holds over 70% of the search engine market, with Microsoft’s Bing coming in with 18% of the share and Yahoo with 10% of the share. These numbers are more or less approximate but certainly not a secret. Google has held market dominance for well over a decade now, and though we do get occasional stories of market share dropping, Google’s authority is not going to diminish substantially any time soon!
From a search marketing point of view, this may evoke the idea of wanting to keep ads on Google and doing everything you can to ensure effective search etiquette in parlance with Google’s biblical web guidelines. Which is all well and good, but higher numbers do not necessarily predict growth and reach. These after all are the parameters through which you view any marketing campaign, optimized or otherwise.
Bing’s advantage within the search engine competition may inventively lie in the fact that its numbers are low. As John Love writes:
Often times I see two common issues when I look at an existing AdWords account for the first time.
1. Keywords are so highly targeted that the daily budget isn’t being met – sometimes because campaigns are targeting a small geographic area, other times due to heavy use of exact and phrase match keywords.
2. Keywords are all broad match with minimal targeting and the daily budget is met early in the day.
If you’re suffering from one of these two issues, Bing & Yahoo may be your partial solution. Since Bing & Yahoo have smaller market shares, lesser advertisers use them. Less competition means lower cost-per-click (CPC) and higher ad rank. Lower CPC and better ad rank typically translates to a lower cost-per-acquisition – the reason you’re running ads in the first place!”
Starting with less and then you grow
The CPC issue is something which many startups continually complain about and their concern is not misplaced. The issue here is that when you enter in the Google arena, you are facing competition in numbers that even you cannot fully appreciate. Thanks to the reasoning, highlighted in first paragraph, being followed by every business you compete amongst higher rates and higher number of businesses. This means even if you get ads featured on Google you get them against at least twenty other businesses all fighting in the same niche and for the same keyword.
Bing becomes a smaller pond in which you get the chance to grow and collaborate more. You have lesser players to compete against so you can feature your ads and then instead of those twenty odd competitors ignoring you, you can forge important links between the seven competitors that are there. This is where the bloggers can really step up their game!
Once you grow with your business from that angle. You earn more links, you get your return on investment and then you are set to play with a bigger budget with a bigger repertoire. Suddenly, playing and competing against the bigger businesses does not seem that difficult of a task.
Adhering to the demographics: target all of the market
This advice goes well for seasoned businesses as well as newer ventures. I will make a claim right off the bat that there are still a substantive amount of Bing users in the US because there are Internet Explorer users in the US.
The image from hubspot.com shows two things. Firstly, that Google does dominate over Bing and secondly, Bing has a bit of an edge over Google when it comes to certain areas. This edge occurs because of the age difference as well. Go through the studies and you will find that IE actually is more likely to be used by females falling in the 40 and over age bracket. This means that if you are not optimizing your site for Yahoo and Bing (since Yahoo’s search is powered by Bing) then you are clearly missing out on some serious numbers of traffic.
New businesses can make even greater use of this information as stated above; the competition is less over Bing so your potential automatically rockets.
This is not Google vs. Bing
At Workplace Depot, I experiment and research with both organic as well as paid marketing and as far as my study goes, this is not about Google vs. Bing. Ideally, both platforms offer their own unique benefits. Google goes for the trending data whereas Bing links you with more trusted and respectable names in the niche. Both platforms follow a similar content oriented and “no spam” policy on their algorithm but then shift their focus on content slightly.
Despite the numbers difference, Bing offers the route that many new businesses should be looking at if they want to grow and especially should be considering if they wish to carve out a very unique name for themselves within their targeted niche.
Are you a newer business and not considering Bing at all? Think again!
Contributed by Moosa Hemani