Google vs. Bing:
How to Optimize Your Site.
Google’s Search Engine Market Share
The classic “Google vs. Bing” argument. It all started in 2009 when Microsoft announced that Bing would rebrand the old MSN Search and Windows Live Search. At the time, Google was thought to have monopolistic control over the search engine market. While this was partially true, Bing and Yahoo have actually been cutting into Google’s lead over the past few years.
Regardless of which engine is bigger or better, optimizations can be made to your website in order to align with each platform’s ranking factors. Understanding the differences between these primary search engines can help us tweak our SEO tactics in order to boost our website rankings.
Google was founded in 1998, originally as a backlink authority analysis tool. This background has helped Google grow in terms of being able to effectively rank websites based on the quality and quantity of their backlinks. As you can see, online searching has always been Google’s specialty. Bing, however, is a completely different story. Microsoft yields a much more diversified portfolio. The company sells software, operating systems, gaming platforms, and many more electronic devices.
When Bing was launched in 2009, it was considered to be “just another Microsoft portfolio expansion,” that would generate considerable revenue for a short period, and then proceed to die out. This wasn’t in Microsoft’s plans, however. Shortly after its launch, Bing was transformed into the driving force behind Yahoo. Even with Google’s 74.5% control of the world’s search engine market, Bing is still immensely influential, averaging between 5-10% of market share. In the United States, Bing and Yahoo actually hold approximately 30% of the search engine market.
When it comes to image searching, Bing wins. The search engine features higher quality images in terms of pixel quality. Bing has also implemented an “infinite scroll” feature that essentially eliminates Google’s ubiquitous “next page” clicking when browsing images. Bing’s image search filters symbiotically feature expanded filtering options and increased ease of access. The only weakness of Bing’s image search function is that it does not provide GIF images in results, like Google.
Because most businesses optimize their websites solely for Google, there is an opportunity to target the 30% in the United States who prefer Bing and Yahoo.
Survey studies and IP research reports have shown a large proportion of Bing users in certain demographic groups. For example, people in Southern States of the US who are politically conservative tend to use Bing more than Google. This segmentation provides interesting opportunities in target marketing; one could focus their site optimization on Bing, in an effort to rank higher for this demographic group, on their preferred search engine.
Bing favors more official domain types such as “.gov,” or “.edu” domains. Google, on the other hand, tends to give more emphasis to popular commercial websites with mass amounts of traffic.
While Google features limited social media results (the occasional Facebook or Twitter post) to related searches, Bing takes this element to the max. Friend recommendations and business mentions automatically show up in Bing results, which is clearly superior to Google’s social media integration. If you are trying to target social media users, consider the importance of Bing optimization.
Google dominates the world of backlinks, as they have been for 20 years. Their analysis of backlink authority, quality, trust, and more, is the best in the business. Bing also takes backlinks into account, just not to the extent or standards of Google. In fact, Bing takes pages off of their listings that lack backlink authority. A website page may have high value, but if there is not a link present, it is in danger of being removed from Bing’s index. Keep this in mind when optimizing your website for Bing.
Regarding local SEO, Google usually gives preference to larger companies whereas Bing tends to list smaller businesses. This is not a concrete rule, however; it really depends on the location and how effective each website’s SEO is.
Ultimately, you do not want to target only one of these search engines. While many Googlers will disagree, neither engine is truly, decidedly better. It’s up to the end user to determine the winner in the search engine battle: Google vs. Bing. Yes, Google has a much larger user-base; tapping into this market is crucial. However, to pass on the still-enormous market that uses Bing is foolish; it is most wise to target both search engines when optimizing your website.