Can Microsoft compete with the search engine giant, Google? It may have looked doubtful before when looking at Microsoft’s Live Search, but things are looking good with the new release of Bing, Microsoft’s new search engine, aka “decision engine”. It was released on June 3, 2009 and has an extensive marketing campaign in place, estimated to be at nearly $100 million. Major television ads are running promoting Bing.
Bing’s simple interface with a colorful background mimics that of Google, but with a more ambiance t it. The background is always changing with hot spots that are clickable. Luckily, you can always go back to a past image and find the hot spots, in case you saw something important there. It does not make much sense to have these hot spots and they can be quite confusing, especially since they are constantly changing. There is no warning of when and where these hot spots are until you scroll over them. Then a question related to the image appears with a link to click on, usually answering the question proposed.
When comparing Bing to Google there are more similarities than dissimilarities. For starters they both have a simple interface with a large search bar in the middle of the page. They both display Images, Videos, Shopping, News, and Maps on the homepage. The difference is Google also has Gmail and Bing has travel. The big difference is that Bing has changing images, where as Google has a changing logo against a blank interface.
Bing has decided to market itself as a decision engine, rather than a search engine. What this means is that Bing incorporates e-commerce websites search bar into a fully functional search engine. Microsoft believes that searchers are ready to move beyond the search stage and Bing will help them make better decisions. The search engine results are categorized to make it easier to find results.
The decision engine has been creating tons of search engines ranking for many of my clients with a lower bounce rate than the other major search engines. Does this mean that Microsoft has succeeded with an advanced algorithm that is superior to the major three’s? Or is it a fluke that the bounce rate is visibly lower than the other search engines.
The big question is how do we optimize our websites for Bing? We all want to be ranked at the top of a new search engine, which has the potential to take on the other major search engines. It is simple, do what you do for the other major search engines. From my observations domain age plays a big role. Bing wants to see websites that are established and have been around for a long period of time.
The decision engine, Bing, seems to like websites with tons of original content on the landing pages. Make sure your page titles are keyword rich and appropriate for the subject matter. Bing loves titles with keywords searchers are using. Make sure to have a good, unique title for all your websites pages. Unlike other search engines, linking out seems to be favored. This means linking to other sites from your own site is good for ranking. This may show to Bing that your site shares useful information with its users. This is not to say reciprocal linking is good, but linking to sites that your users may deem valuable is a good idea.
Sign up for an account with Bing and manage your analytics and start a pay per click campaign with them. Their PPC rates are significantly lower than other PPC campaigns because there is not as much competition and keyword dilution occurring. In a few months to a year PPC costs will begin to mimic those of the other search engines, but for now the prices are superb.