Google may be the dominant search engine, but for advertisers looking to reach diverse audiences, there's more to search than Google alone. Microsoft's Bing search engine offers advertisers alternative options that might be right for them. In this article, we'll discuss some key differences between Bing and Google and outline the importance of these differences.
Growth for Bing
In Microsoft's fourth quarter, the company reported Bing's revenue rose 17 percent over the past year. Even though it's still dwarfed by Google, which owns nearly 75 percent of the search engine market, Bing holds a respectable third slot (after Baidu) with nearly 8 percent of search engine market share, according to NetMarketShare.
But Bing makes up for its smaller size in different ways. These are the kinds of things marketers should keep in mind when drawing up a well-rounded search strategy:
Demographic differences: According to 2016 research from GML Consulting, Bing users tend to be older, wealthier, and well educated. For marketers looking for an affluent audience, likely connected to the Microsoft online universe already, Bing can be an effective tool.
Search results: According to Search Engine Land, Bing uses an enriched basic search that goes further than typical search results. When you search for "movies," for example, Bing shows users movie options for streaming outlets such as Amazon and Netflix, as well as what movies are playing in cinemas near you. This asset shows increased thinking in Bing's search makeup.
Easier purchase links: Bing tends to display "real-world context" results that allow consumers to buy goods and services more easily, while Google tends to offer results for consumers to learn more before making a purchase.
Unique query searches: Unique query searches are high on Bing, meaning they're only displayed and found on Bing and users searching for them have a high intent to buy.
Most relevant entity: Advertisers can use Bing Entity Search API to identify the entity with the most relevance based on the search terms used. This can be used to see the multiple entity types while searching for favorite local businesses, video games, books, and movies.
Working with Bing Ads: Bing Ads is less costly on cost-per-clicks than Google's AdWords. There's also less competition on popular keywords, which can lead to better ad positioning and improved click-through rates.
Bing for Business: By increasing its deep discovery tools in a more robust knowledge graph, Bing's Places for Business allows businesses to place more emphasis on its website's published content and data. This is another alternative to promoting a company's brand for online and offline consumers.
Negative keywords: In Bing Ads, negative keywords don't negate targeted keywords. This is an important feature for advertisers who don't want their ads being shown when a search query contains a bid-on keyword but is irrelevant to the advertiser's business content and landing page copy.
The recent uptick in Bing's business shows its product improvements are working well for brands that use it. It keeps the competitive search engine market companies in deep discovery mode for adding new search methods, and means Bing's improvements are helping to optimize campaigns for business marketers.