Bing is the “rising star” in the US search engine market. Microsoft’s revamped search engine that launched in 2009 and replaced their existing Live search engine has been slowly adding market share, gaining on rival engines Google and Yahoo!. However, this will all change as Microsoft Bing continues to push forward to two key “Powered by Bing” partnerships.
The first of these, that is widely publicized, is their partnership with Yahoo!. This deal, which has recently been approved by the US government, has Yahoo! stepping out of the search engine business and relinquishing their search results pages to Bing. Even though searches will still be conducted on Yahoo! the results will be from Bing (both organic and paid). This Powered by Bing partnership is slated to take effect during 2010 before the holiday season at the end of the year (US only). This move will give Bing an immediate ~150% increase in search engine market share in the US.
The second of these is there partnership with Facebook. Microsoft has had a minority share in the company since 2007 and has began powering Facebook’s “search the web” functionality since 2008 (then with Live and now with Bing). This partnership will be another key element in the search market share as Facebook continues to grow it’s search numbers. In January 2010, Facebook had 395 million search queries performed by Facebook users. So, lets roll that up into Bing as well since they are powering Facebook. This adds another 25% increase in search volume for Bing.
Now lets take a look at the numbers: when you add Bing’s partnerships with Yahoo! and Facebook to its meek 10 to 12% market share it quickly jumps to somewhere in the 25 to 30% range.
So, have you been preparing and grooming you Bing results to take advantage of this?
If you are currently monitoring positions in Yahoo! vs Bing and Bing is outperforming Yahoo! results you may be in good shape as this partnership takes affect. However, if you are on the other side of the spectrum then you are only lining your site up for a potential catastrophic failure when the search results change. For those of you who are not monitoring Bing at all, now is not a bad time to get started!
Here are a couple places that you might want to start reading to get information on the Bing search engine:
Bing Webmaster Center Blog (especially their SEM 101 series)
Webmaster World – Bing Search News
Get to work!