First of all, best wishes and nothing but good things for 2020. I am not really into doing good intentions, so let’s go on with something that really helps you; The answer to the question can you take Bing out of the equation in 2020?
Let’s face it, when we talk about search engines we are talking about Google in 95% of all cases. For people in Asia you have Baidu as an exception, for people in Russia you have Yandex.
But can we ignore a search engine like Bing in Europe?
What is Bing?
Bing is a search engine developed by Microsoft and was launched in 2009 with the aim of acquiring a large share in the online search market. This is the third attempt after the predecessors MSN Search and Windows Live Search to get a foot in the door.
With Bing, Microsoft has in fact opened the attack on Google Search.
Just like Google, this search engine offers users organic search results ranked by relevance, supplemented by sponsored search results. The search engine offers integration with a number of other services within Bing and its direct partners.
Perhaps the key question for many, is it worth your time and effort to actively look at how you are doing on Bing? Let alone to advertise on it.
Despite all the efforts of Microsoft and in particular in the field of marketing, Bing does not hold much more than 4 percent of the search market in the Netherlands.
But they are growing bit by bit!
To visualize that growth a bit more; In Europe, Bing won market share of searches on desktop and laptops in Q1 of 2019. Where Google has to conceive a loss of 0.75% when it comes to searches, Bing won 0.72%.
For a complete picture of the market share in the Netherlands, Europe, etc., I refer to Pure’s research on Q1 of 2019; https://www.pure-im.nl/blog/marktaandelen-zoekmachines-q1-2019/
Maybe a bit older but still good / clear data.
Advantages of Bing
Advertising on Bing is not obvious for most companies. Due to the low number of searches, many parties choose a different channel (with that I mean Google).
Nevertheless, there are a number of reasons for actually advertising on Bing.
Many competitors have simply not bothered to advertise on Bing. As a result, as an advertiser you have a better chance of being noticed at Bing.
At Google it is often no longer interesting to advertise on more general search terms, due to the high competition and the high cost per click that this entails.
In Bing you sometimes see only a few advertisers on these generic terms. In many cases they are not even relevant, making it a lot easier to distinguish yourself from your direct competitors.
A bit cheaper when it comes to Cost per Click
The biggest advantage of Bing Ads is the cost per click (CPC) that is approximately 35% lower than with Google Ads. At Bing Ads you regularly come across costs per click of $ 1 or less in popular branches.
With Google Ads you rarely come across these prices.
Use it to expand your online presence
Advertising through Google Ads is already a familiar area for many companies. It is smart to expand your online sales area by adding Bing to your advertising network. After all, by not advertising on Bing you may not reach part of your online target audience.
Transfer from Google Ads to Bing Ads
Have you already found and configured the success formula for your advertising campaign through Google Ads? Then you can easily import it to Bing!
You go through a number of steps and your Google Ads advertisements are shown in the same way in Bing. So importing is very easy. You can also easily compare what both search engines mean to you on the basis of a campaign.
They are still growing
After Google, it is the largest search engine in the Netherlands. Yes weird I know! Bing also works with Yahoo. The Bing Ads platform is also displayed on Yahoo in a certain form. This means that by betting on Bing with your ads you also reach a part of the market where Yahoo is active. (Remember this point I’ll come back to this later)
Bing is often default on a lot of devices
Let’s face it Microsoft is not crazy, they provide an operating system that has a huge market share. They have of course been so smart to design Bing as a standard search engine.
Now it is true that this applies to their own browsers and that is no longer the case on Windows after a ruling by the European Court.
The ruling has created freedom in that area; https://ec.europa.eu/competition/consumers/citizen_summary/en.pdf
What you still get because of this is that people who are not that tech savvy when it comes to computers etc. in a general sense will still use it.
But it doesn’t stop at the laptops, desktops, phones that Microsoft delivers. Also consider the Xbox consoles that come from Microsoft with a x number of millions reach.
Disadvantages of Bing
In addition to the still relatively small market share that Bing holds, there are a few clear disadvantages;
They are behind and need to play catch-up
Bing is still a lot behind Google on many fronts. The newest techniques / features are therefore not immediately available at Bing Ads. A prominent example of this has been support for structured data in, for example, the JSON-LD format.
Ads editor takes a … bit … to get used to
In addition, I think the Bing Ads Editor is not as useful as the Google Ads Editor, which means it can be used less efficiently. Importing Google Ads to Bing Ads is handy as mentioned earlier.
Bing is unknown territory often … and that costs time
Getting to know Bing (Ads) also takes time, so it often doesn’t seem interesting for small businesses to start using Bing. The costs (and time) seem too large, creating a barrier.
What do you mean with taking it out of the equation?
With taking it out of the equation I mean multiple things. One of them may already be clear; that is advertising. But apart from advertising, Bing is of course also a search engine with organic results.
That means that if you do not want to advertise on this search engine you can still see how your platform emerges, how you rank etc. I personally use various tools such as, for example, SERanking and it is enormously interesting to see the differences on the same keywords can be between Google and Bing.
So if I should immediately connect a conclusion to this then it is the following;
Should you take it out of the equation?
Advertising surely can be interesting, especially if you spend less money on Bing for the same keywords. But then it is good to have an idea of whether your target group is / is using it before going that way.
You can see this with a simple referral check in Google Analytics.
If you are not going to advertise, it is still interesting to see how you do it on Bing.
That is something that does not have to be very radical to gain insight.
If you take them with them, they still have growth. Totally ignoring them may not be what you should do. Try to keep it under control and take action that fits your findings.
Other search engines
As explained briefly in the intro of this item, there are a number of other search engines besides Google and Bing. Since in many cases we will not have to deal with Asia and Russia, I will leave Baidu and Yandex for what it is in this case.
But in addition there is 1 other search engine that I would like to say, keep this in mind;
DuckDuckGo is essentially a search engine such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. But unlike these other three names, DuckDuckGo is completely anonymous in use.
DuckDuckGo does not save entered searches, which increases your privacy and allows you to see exactly the same results as everyone else.
Please note; given that DuckDuckGo uses the (anonymous) data from Google to display results, Google will not be very concerned about the growth of search engine DuckDuckGo.
From the earlier mentioned item by Pure;
Opvallend in Q1 2019 is het marktaandeel dat DuckDuckGo via smartphones heeft met 0,51%. Datzelfde DuckDuckGo heeft ook op tablets fors aan marktaandeel gewonnen en verwerkt nu 1,34% van de zoekopdrachten in Nederland, een winst van 0,14% ten opzicht van het kwartaal ervoor.
Which comes down to this in English;
Striking in Q1 2019 is the market share that DuckDuckGo has though smartphones with 0.51%. The same DuckDuckGo has also gained a significant market share on tablets and now processes 1.34% of searches in the Netherlands, a 0.14% gain compared to the previous quarter.
Advertising is a bit special. DuckDuckGo works through the Yahoo network and the setup is done through Bing Ads … no kidding read it for yourself; https://help.duckduckgo.com/duckduckgo-help-pages/company/advertising-and-affiliates/
Search Engines in 2020
As you can see, completely shielding yourself from other search engines is not what you should do. Always look at what is best for your platform and goal. That is the case with so many SEO fields … people think there is 1 golden formula that always works. And for many things, it depends enormously on the exact situation.
Or do it together with a party who knows what they are doing, who are transparent and clear about that towards you! If you want me to take a look , sure, I would love to hear that.