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Is Bing Really Threatening Google?

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Microsoft’s Search Engine is Increasing in Popularity

The latest statistics show that Bing is gaining increasing traction in desktop search. What are the implications for your SEO strategy?

For many people, Google and internet search are synonymous terms. In the same way as you hoover the carpet, you Google something on the internet. The idea that any other search engine could seriously threaten Google’s dominance might seem ludicrous. After all, who has ever Binged anything?

The latest statistics released from comScore could, therefore, raise some eyebrows. They show that 26 percent of searches on UK desktops are now performed on Bing – put into context, that represents just under a billion searches every month.

The news came as no surprise to our analysts at Freelance SEO Essex, who have noticed an increase in leads from Bing over the course of 2017 to date. Here, we take a look at where this growth is coming from and what it might mean for your SEO strategy.

The Windows 10 effect

One of the first things that needs to be noted is that the statistics relate to desktop search only – we will look at mobile in a moment – and herein lies the first clue to Bing’s increase in popularity.

The vast majority of laptops sold today are running Windows 10, and its virtual assistant Cortana is ever present. All Cortana searches are automatically conducted on Bing.

The fact that Microsoft is also offering rewards for using Bing is another factor that certainly won’t hurt its market share, too.

Is Google in decline?

Before we write Google off as being the Hoover to Bing’s Dyson, there are a few things worth bearing in mind. The first is that although Desktop search statistics are interesting, these days, the majority of searches are carried out on mobile devices. Here, it is a different story, Google still dominates with 95 percent of searches.

The other point worthy of note is that the statistics show increased use of Bing in the UK and the USA, but globally, its market share is just ten percent. Across mainland Europe, and particularly in Asia, Google’s position is largely undiminished.

Also, the rise of voice search is shaking up the industry. The latest news, however, puts Google ahead – Apple has chosen to replace Bing with Google as the default Siri search engine.

Implications for SEO

Many businesses make the same mistake as individuals when it comes to assuming that “search” means Google, but we can see that from a UK and USA perspective, at least, this is a dangerous assumption to make.

Broadly speaking, Bing is interested in many of the same factors as Google when it decides where to rank your website. That means good quality, unique content, with well crafted titles that accurately reflect the content.

When it comes to assessing authority, Bing places weight on the age of your domain, with longer-established domains given higher priority. Bing is less interested in blogging when ranking sites, but does look at links and social media shares.

Depending on your market intelligence, Bing PPC is also worth considering. Of course, despite the rising popularity, it still has a vastly smaller audience than Google, but cost per click rates are also far lower – typically 60 to 70 percent, but varying according to the sector.

As such, if your target demographic is UK or US based and you see significant desktop traffic, it could be a valuable strand to incorporate in your SEO strategy.

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