Can Bing Put A Bigger Dent In Google Searches?

    June 11, 2013
    Chris Crum
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Bing has been struggling to make a significant dent in Google’s share of the search market since its launch, but Bing’s share has been slowly growing over that time. While Bing still has a very long way to go if it intends to catch Google, recent developments can only serve to help it on its way.

Will Bing ever catch up to Google in search market share? Let us know what you think.

On Monday, Apple revealed iOS 7, the new version of the operating system that powers iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices. This is greatly significant for Bing. Apple has not exactly made Bing the default search on the devices, but it has replaced Google with Bing on the Siri feature, which is starting to look a great deal more competitive with Google’s conversational search and Knowledge Graph offerings.

While demonstrating the operating system at the Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple revealed a handful of new Siri features. It can now understand more types of commands. The examples Apple showed were:

  • “Play last voicemail”
  • “Increase brightness”
  • “What is John Appleseed saying?”
  • “Tell me about surfing”
  • “What are the best beaches for surfing?”

Siri will now include web results from Bing when it doesn’t have a direct answer for the user, replacing Google as the provider of supplemental web results. Here’s what Bing Corporate Vice President Derrick Connel had to say about it:

Starting this fall with iOS 7, Bing will power Siri’s new integrated web search. When users ask Siri a question either the specific answer or web search links will now be delivered automatically so users can find information even faster.

Bing was designed from the outset to be a great place for web search helping customers quickly find what they are looking for and get more out of search. We are thrilled that all the great results people have come to know and love on Bing.com will now be available to Siri users on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

Making sure customers can have access to the power of Bing where and when they need it has been a big focus of the work we have done over the past few years, and we are excited to work with Apple to deliver it to Siri users this fall.

Siri also now utilizes Wikipedia content to provide users with information making it much more like Google’s offering. Google’s Knowledge Graph relies heavily on Wikipedia.

Siri also now searches Twitter when users want to know what people are saying about a topic.

Siri itself is becoming a better competitor to Google’s voice search (which for some Android users is probably the primary way they search from their mobile devices) simply by making it do more things. With greater functionality, it stands to reason that people will use it more, and with Bing providing the web results, that means more people searching Bing.

Now consider how many people use iOS. At Apple’s event, CEO Tim Cook revealed that the company has sold 600 million iOS devices since the first iPhone was introduced. According to Cook, iPhone users use their device 50% more than Android users use theirs. He also noted that 60% of the mobile web share goes to iOS, and that 93% of iOS users are using the latest version of iOS. That’s a lot of potential Siri users, which going forward could translate to a growing number of Bing users, even if they’re not going to Bing.com to conduct their searches.

And we’re just talking iOS. More vehicle owners will also start getting more acquainted with Siri.

How long until Apple brings Siri to the dekstop? It’s somewhat surprising that it’s not included in the new Mac OS X Mavericks, which is getting more features previously only available on iOS. It seems like only a matter of time, especially considering that Google recently launched its conversational search (previously only available on Android) for the desktop.

So, suffice it to say, Apple has the potential to greatly help Bing get more users. But it’s not just Apple.

Think about Facebook, with its over a billion users strong. Bing has long been the provider of web results on Facebook Search, but Facebook Search is changing. At this point, to some of us Graph Search seems like it’s been around for a long time, and it hasn’t exactly revolutionized search, but it’s easy to forget how early it really is in the life of Graph Search.

Facebook hasn’t even rolled it out to all users. It’s unclear just what percentage of users have it at this point. It’s not a stat that Facebook provides. But beyond that, Facebook also has much bigger plans for what Graph Search will actually do. Eventually, it will be able to retrieve a lot of different kinds of data than what it does today.

Another major factor for Graph Search is that it has yet to be launched for mobile, which is the format that would make much of Graph Search’s current functionality more useful. For example, one of its current strong points it local search. It would be much more helpful to be able to pull up nearby restaurants when you’re close by (similar to Yelp’s new feature).

And like with Siri, the more useful Graph Search gets, the more people will potentially find themselves perusing web results provided by Bing rather than Google. In either case (Siri or Graph Search), even if they don’t have to resort to the Bing-provided web results, they’re searching with non-Google products to begin with. Whether it’s Apple, Facebook or Bing, they’re getting their answers from someone that’s not Google, and that’s not good for Google.

Microsoft itself is also going out of its way to get people using Bing more from its other products like Windows and Xbox (two very popular products, I might add).

While many have been less than impressed with Microsoft’s big Xbox One announcement, there’s not doubt that it will get its share of users. Here’s Bing’s role in that console, as described by Microsoft:

Bing also is tightly integrated into the Xbox entertainment experience. When you search by voice for movies, TV shows or music, Bing is the service providing the instant responses. That experience is going to get a WHOLE lot better with Xbox One. I don’t know about you, but snap mode looked incredibly compelling to me. Now imagine you’re watching a movie on your new Xbox One and you want to find additional information about the cast. As Yusuf showed yesterday, just say, “Xbox, Snap Internet Explorer.” Now IE with Bing as my home page is running next to the movie I’m watching. Finding information about the cast is, yes, just a snap. Or, as Don Mattrick said in explaining the team’s mission to transform our entertainment experiences, “Simple. Instant. Complete.”

Then there’s Windows 8.1, which gets a substantial Bing upgrade. With the new Bing experience on Windows, users get rich images across their search results, and Bing searches across the web and the user’s machine.

“With search in Windows 8.1 our intent is to have one way to find what you’re looking for, no matter where it lives – whether it’s a document on your PC, a photo album in the cloud, an app, PC setting or a website. In just a tap or a click you can play, view, launch, or browse,” explained Connell in a recent blog post. “To set the course, we looked hard how people have been interacting with the new user experience introduced in Windows 8. Search has long been a part of Windows – especially powerful and useful in Windows 8 – where the Search Charm gives you a single place to find content in your apps. People told us they liked the ease of having fewer places to search. In Windows 8, people could direct their question at an app (like Travel) and have Bing bring back a beautiful, multi-faceted set of information and tools to help them plan their summer trip. But Windows 8.1 takes an even bigger step – with its new search experience, you can find your own personal stuff as well as content from the open web and the creativity of the millions of authors and developers.”

“Imagine you’re planning a trip to Paris,” he added. “Simply type the name of the city and you’ll immediately see beautiful, full-bleed images, upcoming events in the city, and popular attractions. But you can also check the current weather and book a hotel in the Bing Travel app, without having to open it up and type ‘Paris’ again. In the same way, your itinerary and budget, whether they are saved on your laptop or in the cloud, are right there. And of course, we’ll show you the great web results you’ve come to expect from Bing. ‘Paris’ isn’t just a single file or a search query in an app: it is a concept, full of both meaning and context, and we’ll bring its unique meaning to your digital life, all in one place.”

Of course all of this Bing exposure also means more branding for Bing, and could result in more people simply thinking of Bing when it’s time to just perform a search regardless of what device they’re using. All of the movie and TV product replacement could help too, not to mention the TV commercials.

I wouldn’t count on Bing overtaking Google’s share of the search market anytime soon, but it seems fairly likely that we’re going to continue to see Bing chipping away at it little by little, and some moves may result in bigger chunks.

Results came out last month for the search market in the U.S. for April. Google’s share dropped, while Bing’s passed 17%.

Do you think Bing will continue to gain on Google for the foreseeable future? Share your thoughts in the comments.

  • http://www.bowmanlamps.com Mary

    Bing can try. However I do a lot of searching, and based on past results, I’m staying with Google.

    • http://www.mac-seo-tools.com Glenn D. Bearsky

      Agreed. Bings search algos are horribly unsophisticated compared to Google. Bing seems utterly incapable of _properly_ interpreting longer queries with 4 or more words in it. Bing just GRASPS for a keyphrase or two and shows ridiculous results, Google is MUCH better at interpreting the searcher’s intent of the full query and delivering relevant results. Until Bing achieves this level of search query understanding it will always trail Google.

  • http://www.dexeter.net Ray

    You have said it yourself Bing are slowly building search volumes they also have a credible plan and the resources to put it into action.

    Google remains king of course but slowly Bing are making inroads. I am certainly seeing more traffic from Bing to my websites.

  • http://www.techkev.com Kevin

    Bing might take over google in future.I like bing wallpapers and have on my desktop

  • Lydie

    Yes, I do believe Bing will continue to gain search engine share as users seek to diversify sources just like alternate browsers have take share away from Internet Explorer in recent years. I use both because I seek broad results. Bing is a great search engine providing just as relevant results as Google, and Google’s constant dabbling with creative home page doodles has become annoying and distracting. This weeks genius doodle put me into escape mode, first typing “Bing” into gg search box…

  • sofakingdabest

    Google search is like my washing machine. It works until it breaks. I’m not changing.

  • http://dailyprayer.us/ Mason

    Not a chance. Google’s search algorithm is so far ahead of Bing’s that they will never catch up. And it’s not like Microsoft is gaining ground.

    If you want a lot of spam results, link farms, resellers, etc., go ahead, use Bing.

  • http://new-deals.info Gordie

    I use Bing for all my searches. Better content results.

  • Patrick

    Microsoft can do whatever they want but Google is King

  • Bing as verb is shorter

    Google is only good for hipster with no taste. Bing is modern and fast search for working people. Definitely Bing is better and educational.

  • http://michaeltaylorauthor.com Michael Taylor

    Yes, Bing can grow and deserves to grow. Searching on Google is now next to useless, especially if you are in UK and are seeking to find a product made in USA. All you seem to get is USA websites and generally they have little or nothing to do with what you are searching for. Google have really messed things up.

  • Eric Smuck

    I love Bing as cure for my stress. Love the wallpapers as well. When I search from Google, it’s like I’m still in the office with no windows to grasp air after hours.

  • Julius

    Google has better search results. Bing will never catch up i stop using bing i only use google.

  • http://www.moneymachines.com Scott Cannon

    I have found since Penguin, Bing has had more accurate search results. I am finding more and more results with Google that do not pertain at all to the keyword string I am searching for.

  • http://www.allwaysmoving.net Jamie

    Google is king in search results. Bing has a long way to go. I have looked at bing maps and they have like 10 listings. Also the layout of the search result page is rather “Busy”. Bing has a long way to go.

  • Mike

    Luckily for Microsoft, Google’s own worst enemy is Google itself.

  • http://Mabuzi.com Kevin

    Yes but it has a long way to go especially with the map features.

    Competition is better for the consumer and us who have to work within its parameters.

    We all know that eventually the first page of search will be all paid right?
    Its coming and if you have yet to prepare your business or your clients start now.
    We have seen massive in roads to Page 1 with paid search eating larger and larger white space.

  • http://www.cctvireland.ie Paul Whelan

    People use Google search because it gives expected reliable results. People don’t use Bing search because of it’s flakey and arbitrary results. Apple has made a huge mistake in integrating Siri with Bing, it will quickly alienate Apple users. Apple have cut off their nose to spite their face.

  • Sam O’neal

    not so bad…

  • Alafin of Oyo

    This is great

  • http://www.ceoafrica.com Ilobanafor Cletus

    this is were to be!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.tmoore-designs.com T Moore

    It’s too bad that Google has dug its own grave by monetizing everything on its site and trying to require sites to buy ad space. If it had left everything alone I would still be using it. But so far Bing has proved its worth, so I use Google for search only when I have to. Bing has a clearer and better suggestion platform based on keywords, which is all I am ever looking for.

  • Jon

    Yes I think so. Google is only showing big brands in the SERPS now and not the really targeted sites that match my query anymore. I really hate seeing Walmart, Target etc in the top ten for anything I search for. Bing is delivering much better results in my opinion.

  • sammy

    I don’t like Bing..will never switch from Google! Bing will never surpass or even equal googles results.

  • WayneB

    I constantly compare Bing search results to Googles and they seem comparable.