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How Bing is Poised to Challenge Google’s Dominance

Let’s start with the obvious: Google is without a doubt the world’s largest and most popular search engine. It’s a gigantic dominant digital force of nature. In fact, Google processes 1.2 trillion searches worldwide each year. That breaks down to an astonishing 40,000 searches every single second. To date, no competitors have been able to hold a candle to Google’s dominance.

When Microsoft decided to enter the search arena with the rival platform, Bing, most thought that this competition was doomed from the get-go and would fade out in no time.

In a surprising turn of events, however, Bing has slowly but surely been gaining traction over the years and now officially controls over 20 percent of the market, according to a recent ComScore report. 20.1% to be exact. This is definitely not good news for Google, especially considering that the company recently came under fire for manipulating search results to favor their own services.

Let’s take a look at how this happened and what this means for Google and Bing going forward.

The Bing / Yahoo Relationship

It seems that Bing’s rise to a solid number two position in the market has come at the expense of Search Alliance partner, Yahoo. Now, Yahoo currently sits at only a 12.7% share of the market; the same number Bing had in 2010.

Back when Bing launched in the summer of 2009, Yahoo reveled in this 20 percentile share. That same year, Microsoft and Yahoo formed a decade long partnership where Bing would power all of Yahoo’s searches. In return for this, Yahoo would become Bing’s sales force in advertising.

This deal was updated last month to provide Yahoo with increased “flexibility to enhance the search experience” on desktops or mobile devices, although Bing will continue to power the majority of Yahoo’s search results.

Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, was quoted on this matter as stating, “Our global partnership with Yahoo has benefited our shared customers over the past five years and I look forward to building on what we’ve already accomplished together,”. Yahoo Chief Marissa Mayer also commented on these updates by stating, “Over the past few months, Satya and I have worked closely together to establish a revised search agreement that allow us to enhance our user experience and innovate more in our search business.” She goes on to say that, “This renewed agreement opens up significant opportunities in our partnership that I’m very excited to explore.”

While this deal between Microsoft and Yahoo has not given Bing a household name like Google has accomplished, the alliance has served both companies in developing a widely used search tool that 1 out of every 5 individuals is utilizing, even if they don’t realize it.

Bing is on the Rise

The new ComScore report showed that Google dropped a meager 0.1 points since February, whereas Bing grew 0.3. While this may not appear significant, realize that over the course of the past year Bing’s share of desktop searches has grown 10 percent. The numbers may not always have been so drastic, but Bing has steadily been on the rise since hitting the web. This growth may be in part to Microsoft’s process of constantly tweaking and improving aspects of the Bing user experience in the hopes of converting loyal Google users.

Recently, Bing enhanced its image search to provide users with related search options, additional sizes of the image, pages that contain the image, as well as Pinterest collections in which the image is featured. This is a huge advancement in comparison to Google’s much more rudimentary image search.

Additionally, Microsoft has integrated the search engine into its ever-popular Office Online product. This allows Office users to search Bing without ever leaving the program. In conjunction with these new features, Microsoft still runs a long-standing incentive program which rewards users of Bing with gift cards, sweepstakes, and various other prizes. Between the incentives, the easy accessibility, and the partnership with email giant Yahoo, it is no wonder that Bing is not only becoming more relevant, but beginning to pose a threat to the all-powerful Google.

As the battle for search dominance heats up, both competitors are sure to give the battle everything they have. While Google still safely retains search engine dominance for now, rest assured that Bing is ready to pull out all of the stops to get to the top of the mountain. Now controlling 20% of the search market, Bing has caught all of the internet’s attention right in the middle of building some serious momentum. If Google is to remain the king of all search engines, it will have to focus more on improving different facets of its service, otherwise Bing might just pull the proverbial rug right out from under them.

Do you believe that Bing really has what it takes to snatch the search engine mantle from Google?

About the author

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Tina Courtney

Digital producer, online marketer, community manager, and multi-faceted writer Tina Courtney-Brown has been managing cross-functional teams for online businesses since 1996. Tina has assisted many clients in maximizing online production and marketing efforts, and is a staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She’s produced and marketed innovative content for major players like Disney and JDate, as well as boutique startups galore, with fortes including social media, SEO, massively multiplayer games, community management, social networks, and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, nonprofit director and spiritual counselor. Learn more at her personal website, or find her on Facebook and Google+.

30 Comments

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  • Bing will thrive with its business strategy, but to overcome, or at least, google google, it still has a long way to go.

  • I have the feeling we have heard this before – the gap between Bing and Google is massive, there needs to be a quantum change in thinking for Bing catch up.

  • I frequently use both Bing and Google, more so Bing. I tend to find the results in Bing are usually better with one exception – date. Bing quite happily serves up old pages which lost their relevance years ago. Google has a filter that you can change to how recent you require them to be. This is particularly useful when you are searching for something that happens annually (like a conference) and you don’t want the previous years conference appearing in the search results.

    That said I find Bing, on the whole, usually gives more relevant results. I think Google went a bit extreme trying to write algorithm after algorithm after algorithm trying to get a machine to interpret what is good and what is bad. The end result is websites just feed Google what it is looking for and the index gets skewed in their favour. On the other hand Bing seems to be a little less sensitive and tends to give a broader range of websites rather than ten websites which are pretty much the same in content, design and function.

    Google Maps used to be great and then they switched to the more modern version, which is dreadful. You used to be able to view both the streetview and also a larger map below which allowed you to see how the map was in reality – great feature, so why get rid of it? Bings maps, well… Functional but could be improved a long way!

    I think it’s right that they are both checking for mobile friendly results, although you do have to give time for everyone to correct this – responsive design is a complete new website (even it is the old site revamped). It rakes time and everyone will eventually move over.

    I’m more interested to see how the Cortana / Siri / Okay Google technologies develop which is the future of a lot of searches – Windows 10 will be a factor in this. (Side note: “Okay Google” is a terrible name – never let an engineer choose a name for something. It will be boringly practical!)

  • You neglected one additional point on the rise of Bing, of which I suspect is responsible for a fair share of it’s apparent rise – Lumia Mobile phone use.
    I personally recently swapped to a Lumia Phone, after being on Android for years, and with their Cortana (Voice) assistant, almost all searches or request for info, gets channeled through Bing. And it’s not as shabby as I thought it would be.

  • Yes, as you quite rightly pointed out, I find Google to be manipulative in its search results. More and more people will come to realize that. It is good for consumers to have a choice.

  • I think that Both Bing & Yahoo should get the needed backbone and spend some money to go head to head with google in future advertising while exposing the dirty Penguin and Panda algorithm changes they put forth that totally decimated millions of honest hard working internet businesses from around the world. My health related internet business was totally destroyed by what google did and it never recovered. Now I have absolutely no retirement fund for myself to live on and I had to sell my home and assets to live a much lower quality of life! I hope that Google BURNS for what they have done to ruin so many peoples’ dreams, businesses and families! I also hope that Bing stays honest in their up and coming search engine to spare people the pain and suffering that Google caused!

  • I think the more people become disparaged with the control Google has and the issues with its search, then I believe more and more people will migrate to using bing. I already see the signs.

  • I use Bing all the time mostly because the search results are just about the same, but Bing gives me rewards in return.

  • We all want an even playing field in search. Currently Google is like a young king lion who least cares about everything else because of its strength. Time for other cubs to grow up and challenge the ruler. Will be wonderful for the consumer to have choices. It will also push Google to keep improving all the time! Thanks for the wonderful insight Tina! Cheers!

  • If Bing focuses on providing its audience with a great search experience, then they will continue to grow. It is all about the experience – do I get the information that I am looking for?

    What would help Bing is to stop playing follower and start leading in the search arena. Google changed their algorithm regarding mobile friendly websites in April. Bing is now following suite. Not good enough in my opinion. They need to lead.

  • Although loyalty and habits can dictate searching, I believe the search engine that gets the top spot will be the one that provides the best service. Thanks for sharing.

  • Bing’s results for Atlanta web designers is drastically different than Google’s. I remember one of Bing’s top 10 results for Atlanta web designers only had an under construction page. With results like that for a competitive keyword, I don’t see how they’re going to overtake Google.

  • Thanks for sharing this info with us. There will always be rival struggle to get a fair share of the market among competitors. If Bing is making an impact in the search market this will surely prove useful to websites that can look forward to free traffic from other search engines outside Google. In reality, 20% share is not bad, but Bing still has a long way to go. In the long run this may be good news for website owners who keenly look forward to an alternative.

  • I am always for a good competition between rivals. I feel that good competition between companies that offer products and services bodes well for the consumer.In this case I am rooting for Bing, although as someone else stated “A growing mouse is no threat to the lion”. I will root for Bing because it makes good water cooler talk. Honestly though I don’t think they will ever overtake Google in the search arena. But this type of competition breeds innovation and will make Bing work even harder to provide better services. Thats my 2 cents

  • Yahoo Search on its own was a formidable force. I don’t know why the union with Bing instead took them down the ladder.

    Happy to know they are recovering. But if they really want to compete with Google they must be revolutionary and engage in constant innovation.

  • Hey Tina,

    Amazing piece of useful information. Thanks for sharing specially the facts and your opinion about alliances between Bing and Yahoo.

  • Bing is main search engine for Windows and Google for Android. Android is for mobile devices. Nowadays Android users are on the rise so I don’t think Bing can overtake Google for several years.
    Both companies have a monopoly for a specific segment so it will be a fight.

  • BIng and yahoo together, sounds good but really can they beat Google ? I don’t think so as google search results are more accurate. Bing results can easily be dominated by seo spamming

  • Thanks a lot for the lovely article. Google will top in search engine category leaving Bing far behind.