It’s no surprise that Google is the most popular search engine in the world. In fact, according to NetMarketShare, it owns over 75% of the desktop search engine market share and over 94% of mobile/tablet search engine market share.
Desktop Search Engine Market Share – October 2016
Mobile/Tablet Search Engine Market Share – October 2016
And it’s stats like these that have SEO and digital marketing professionals everywhere focusing solely on Google, when looking to improve organic search visibility. Why focus on optimizing for Bing, or Yahoo, or AOL, when they take up such a small piece of our search pie?
So when we’re asked the question, “Is Bing a Thing?” we’re quick to dismiss the need for optimization focused on Bing’s ranking algorithm; but the truth is, the answer should be “It depends.”
Understanding Bing’s Role in Your Audience’s Search World
The first place to start is your website analytics.
Just yesterday, we saw our client’s Bing traffic hit an all-time high – now accounting for over 5% of the traffic to their site and over 10% of their revenue. What does this tell us? That visitors that find their site through a Bing search are more likely to convert than those on other sources of traffic. In this case, we may want to consider optimizing the website for Bing, where applicable.
- Bing favors factually relevant results over socially relevant sites
- Bing places more weight on only websites with official domain names like .gov or .edu
- Bing places more emphasis on social media signals
- Bing still considers keywords used in page title, meta tags, and meta keyword field
What’s important to realize is that every site’s audience is different, and their search preferences are different too. Take a look at your website’s organic search traffic sources over the past 12 months. If you’re seeing that month-over-month, Bing’s piece of the search pie is increasing, then it’s time to consider taking steps to optimize your site to meet Bing’s ranking factors as well as Google’s.
The Future of Bing
In the first quarter of 2016, the comScore released news of Bing’s growing market share. The data showed that as Bing gained a few points of market share, Google lost a few. Sources like SEOChat and SearchEngineJournal theorized on the possible continued growth of Bing this year, with new contracts and acquisitions in the works to improve capabilities and accessibility.
So, as 2016 comes to a close, do these theories hold up? Comment below to let us know if you’ve experienced a notable change in search engine market share in your own analytics.