Is Microsoft Trying to Buy Bing a Win Over Google in the Search Wars?
Kurt wrote an interesting post on Christian SEO Guys this morning titled Bing to Dethrone Google? which shows that Bing has made significant gains in its search market share at the expense of Google. He wrote:
According to Experian’s Hitwise.com, Bing saw a 5% increase in their search market share last month, breaching 30% of the market for the first time, while Google saw a 3% decrease. Those figures may not seem very impressive at first, that is until you see that Bing has been gaining 5% now for the past 6 months during which time Google has seen an average decline of about 3% each month.
At this rate Bing will overtake Google as the leader in the search market by January 2012!
But is Bing really getting more popular?
While Kurt and many others point to Bing’s TV ad campaign and improving search results as reasons for Bing’s gains, a look below the surface shows 3 additional reasons for Bing’s gains that are unrelated to providing better search results or swaying consumers search habits.
1) Bing bought its way into partnership with Yahoo. Bing itself still trails Yahoo in market share 14.3% to 15.7% By making a deal to supply the results to searches on Yahoo Bing has more than doubled its market share.
2) Bing bought its way into partnership with Facebook. When a person searches in Facebook, the web results are provided by Bing. I couldn’t find specific numbers on how much of Bing’s traffic comes from Facebook, but it can’t hurt to provide search results for the #2 website in the world.
3) Bing bought Conduit’s search traffic. What is Conduit? It’s a company that enables other organizations to create mobile apps, browser apps, and tool bars. Tech Crunch reported that in December Conduit terminated their deal with Google and started providing search results from Bing. According to Alexa, in January Conduit’s traffic dropped by 165 million pageviews while Bing’s jumped 138 million pageviews. Coincidence? Take a look at this chart and you be the judge.
So, how much of Bing’s gains are because it’s providing better search results or changing consumers search behavior through their “decision engine” marketing campaign? It’s hard to say.
What do you think? Have you changed your search habits lately? Have you seen others switching to Bing?