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Did Bing Win The 2011 Rivalry With Google Despite Market Share?

Can Bing make an impact on that market share in 2012?

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Did Bing Win The 2011 Rivalry With Google Despite Market Share?
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According to recent numbers from comScore, Google sites controlled 65.4% of core search share in November in the U.S. Yahoo sites controlled 15.1%, and Microsoft sites controlled 15%. With Bing powering Yahoo search on the back-end, let’s call that about 30% for Bing. Less than half of Google’s share. That’s pretty close to how it was at the beginning of 2011.

Can Bing ever compete with Google in search market share? Tell us what you think.

ComputerWorld has an interesting article citing a couple of analysts who think Bing won the search rivalry in 2011, though acknowledging that the market share hasn’t changed much over the year.

Microsoft’s winning of the rivalry, is said to be in terms of overall growth and strategic moves. The strategic moves highlighted in the piece are mainly deals with Facebook and Twitter, which Google does not have. Google used to have a deal with Twitter but that went away earlier this year.

Google’s lack of the Twitter firehose, has resulted in its lack of realtime search, and while the company has indicated the feature would come back, more supported by Google+ (and other sources), it still seems pretty clear that Twitter is a much better indicator of what’s going on in real time than Google+ (though recent numbers suggest some pretty impressive growth for Google+).

My gut tells me that most people missing this feature from Google are more likely to turn to Twitter itself than to Bing, but I could be wrong.

Both Google and Microsoft appear to agree that social is an increasingly significant factor for ranking content. This is one main factor of Google+, let’s not forget. Google introduced the +1 button to influence search even before launching the larger Google+ product.

For all of the success Google+ has had in its early stages, it’s no Twitter in terms of readily available real-time, public updates, and it’s no Facebook in terms of size and breadth of users. Google would love for it to be both, and who knows? Maybe one day it can be, but that day is looking to be a while away at this point.

Of course Facebook, Twitter, Google+ (and others) all have the potential to show search engines how good other web content is.

“Today it’s much easier to see the accumulated results of ‘likes’ and ‘tweets’ as they pile up the numbers, indicating a kind of popularity,” says Bing’s Duane Forrester in a recent blog post discussing the importance of social to search. “Even those new to a topic can see that an article with 100,000 likes must have something going for it.”

“And while the obvious, visual signals of this popularity may come and go in the SERP results, the effect of those gains in exposure certainly can influence how an item ranks,” says Forrester. “Given no other signals for a new piece of content, a strong social signal can help your item get noticed and possibly take an early lead in rankings, allowing other signals to accumulate and either support or refute the assigned rankings. That’s right, just like a big hit of social exposure can help you rank, a lackluster result can leave us wondering if you should be ranking.”

“This doesn’t mean you need to panic if every tweet or post doesn’t suddenly go viral,” he notes. “There’s also the long term effect of interacting with your followers, the links they spread on your behalf, the consistency you show and so on. And let’s not forget that there are still a ton of other factors to weight in before you’re ranked, so don’t sweat the slow starters.”

But back to the rivaly between Google and Bing. Google just secured a major (and expensive) deal with Mozilla to remain the default search on Firefox. If Microsoft had made the deal instead of Google, it could have been a huge boost for Bing’s market share, and a big score in that rivalry, but Google was willing to plunk down, reportedly, close to a billion dollars to stay on Firefox, while also basically keeping a competitor in the browser market alive. Google’s own Chrome, by the way, is doing pretty well in that department.

Google still has to deal with regulatory scrutiny over competitive practices in search – scrutiny that Microsoft is heavily pushing for. What comes of this remains to be seen in its entirety, and the results could impact search market share in the end. Maybe.

Microsoft has its massively popular Xbox brand to help it in its Bing efforts, and I would expect the company to continue to leverage that brand power to help Bing more as time goes on. Xbox recently got a new application platform, which could be huge for all of that, while fueling the Xbox brand itself among the more casual gamers and non-gamer audiences. More potential Bing users.

Bing is also pretty heavy into marketing Bing, though interestingly Google has gotten much more into marketing its products lately as well (particularly on TV).

It’s going to be interesting to see if the market shifts in one way or another over the course of 2012. Will it or will it just be the same percentages this time next year?

Do you think Bing can grow its market share significantly in 2012? Do you use Bing? If so, what has been the main factor influencing your choice? Let us know in the comments.

Did Bing Win The 2011 Rivalry With Google Despite Market Share?
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  • http://merchantanywhere.com Dennis Ideue

    Good lord, I hope not. Our business does very well advertising with Google, we are looking for customers, not twitter users or facebook fans. Having to add another advertising network if Bing gets enough traffic would just be a burden.

    • just sayin

      Yes. Competition will hurt consumers. Advertisers want to pay more for their ads.

  • Steve Kinney

    It is important to know that Internet Explorer is configured by default to divert URLs typed into the address bar to Bing, and of course it is the “default search engine” for the said browser. This accounts for at least 90% of Bing’s market share – almost nobody uses it by choice. Since it has been demonstrated that Bing is a scraper, piggybacked on Google, web designers and “search engine optimization” contractors can and should ignore Bing – take care of Google and Bing will take care of you. In practical terms, Bing does not exist.

    Say it ain’t so? http://tinyurl.com/bing-scraper

    • http://www.tutajua.net Solomon

      I agree. I always make sure my sites are on google’s webmaster central tools – and they always find a way into Bing!

  • http://www.isabelsmith.com/ Isabel Smith

    I really like Chrome. It has a broader search base, in my opinion. I love being able to type whatever I want in the search bar, whether its a phrase, a web address, or just a word — Google doesn’t care. I like the choices Google gives me. Usually when I search, I want to find what I need. I’m usually not interested in all the stuff that may or may not be related to my search, although that might be another step I take after I find what I need.

  • http://www.adovationz.co.nz/catalogww.htm Digby Geen

    I’d like to see Bing doing better.
    Google has got too big and greedy and ‘evil” in my mind.
    Their search are now geared towards products rather than useful sites.
    But Bing is going to have a hell of a task due to the “google it” phrase that is now built in to our physche.

    • http://www.LAokay.com Steve G

      So everybody needs to tell two people the new term is “Just Bing it”, and they need to pass that along to just 2 more people. Anyway, what makes Bing more relevant in queries is still available in Google, but it’s an option called Verbatim. Then even if you’re logged into Google and doing a search, you can’t make Verbatim the default unless you are using the Chrome browser (or so Matt Cutts Tweeted me he thinks it’s possible in Chrome to do that). So you can actually go back to the old results before Panda. I hate Chrome and being that I’m logged into Google when I do my searches I should be at least be given the option of making Verbatim default for all my searches. Relevancy is way better and I hate to have to set it each time I do a search in a new window. :P

  • http://www.futureskills.com/ Hassan Mirzai

    I use all the search engines to see my page rank. I don’t think Bing will ever catch up with Google. Compared with Google, Bing is slower in finding results, and the results are sometime irrelevant.

    • http://www.PlacesToEatOkay.com Steve G

      Google has a much better Verbatim search than Bing does, but Google of course buried this under the left menu options. Try it out and see the difference.

  • Trev

    65.4% of search…. in the US – but why are you guys so US-centric? As if what happens in the US happens everywhere else too. Well it doesn’t. The US is a small percentage of web users, the WWW is global. And in Europe for instance, google has close to 90% of search

  • http://inthepinkconsultants.co.uk John Gilbert

    Our beef with Google is the way it operates. It acts like a dictator ruling the world of the search engine. This year we have migrated all of our customers to Bing as their default browser and the majority are reporting better search results. A search on Google producers far too many rubish results.

    • David

      I agree with you. I found many inaccurate results on google recently (after panda update).

  • http://www.captaincyberzone.com CaptainCyberzone

    If I were a Microsoft Corp. and/or Google shareholder I would care.
    I’m not either, hence …
    I really don’t care who won.

  • Bob

    Chris, was that a pic. of your actual Christmas pie? :-)

    Bing will go nowhere. They need to fire those marketing/geek PhDs they are using and hire somebody with common sense. I want to see Beyonce or Shakira shaking their booty on tv saying, “Go Bing Baby!” or something like it. I want to see a Dell type of boy saying “Dude you need to search with Bing!” or something like it. Right now in order to decipher what Bing’s ads on tv mean, you need a calculator. Stupid ads that say nothing. What a waste of money. Those marketers/geeks need to get out more often.

  • Bob

    If Bing would follow my advice they would be number 1 search engine in less than two years.

    They need to:

    - partner with pantyless celebrities (Lindsay, Paris, Britney, Lady Gaga, etc.) and put nice ads out there, no geeky, useless ones.
    - be BFF with webmasters and participate HEAVILY on Webmaster World. (JUST THIS ALONE IS ENOUGH)

    I’m being very serious.

    Google would be history in less than 2 years.

  • http://artsweightloss.com Art

    I strongly believe Bing will become a major player in the world of search engines. It may very well pass Google in the future because of all the search algorisim garbage they are coming up with.
    Word is if you have a gmail account you are linked to your Google+ and it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

    • Kired

      I’m just not comfortable with Google knowing everything about me. They’re too GOOD at it.
      At least Microsoft has a track record of incompetence. I feel secure knowing that my data is in the hands of idiots who don’t know what to do with it.

  • Superalias

    Bing? Does that still exist?

  • http://www.batur-segarahotel.com wayan

    we want my website on top 10, by submit here.
    basic to luxury rooms available, at foot of batur mountain, beside batur lake

  • http://www.seonorthamerica.com Tom Aikins

    I use Google most of the time although I have occasionally tried Bing. For some reason my clients’ web sites always seem to rank better with Google.

  • elfsun

    Dislike bing, none of my friends use it.All of us use google.

  • http://www.affiliatesledgehammer.com/ David McKee

    I think it is interesting how on Dec 20 you had an article asking “Is Google Hurting Free Market Competition” (http://www.webpronews.com/google-senators-ftc-2011-12) and here we have an article that shows clearly that Google is not the big “Monopoly” all the whining socialists/liberals like to say it is. The facts are clear – there is competition in the search arena, but Google does it better than anyone else. That is good business. If someone starts doing it better than Google, then one of three things will happen: Google will try to match them, Google will try to buy them, Google will start to get smaller as they grow bigger.

    We have seen all three of these things happen in the internet and in all businesses that are allowed to operate in a free market environment. IT only gets totally screwed up when Government get’s involved. That is because the only thing a government can do is destroy whatever it touches – because the Government is a sword.

    This article demonstrates that Bing, by providing services Google does not provide, is able to capture market share. So much for the liberal anti-capitalists.

  • http://www.flexoweb.com nthampi

    In order to compete with Google, Microsoft has to revolutionize Bing’s search. The search results should be more relevant than of Google’s. Otherwise, they will be in the state for ever.

  • http://ezgrinders.com Grinders

    Not even close. People know Google. Even my grandma knows what Google is. Ask her if she knows what Bing is and she will check if her hearing aid is making those pesky noises again.

  • http://www.tonyswebbusiness.com Anthony Wiley

    Hi I use Google for mostly everything. Appreciate the info,Tony.

  • http://karras-bommer.blogspot.com/ Karras

    What’s a Bing?

  • Noah

    Bing will make it if Google won’t change the current developing strategy, I mean on business level.

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