Bing Still On The Rise

We recently reported Bing and Yahoo’s increased hold of the available market share for organic listings, as well as overall search volume growth. This month, industry data confirms Bing is also on the rise for paid ad impressions and ad clicks, confirming an increase in public interest for the recently re-vamped search engine.

Since the summer 2009 launch of Microsoft’s Bing, the engine’s ad impressions have increased by 56% while PPC spend is up by 24%. This data is a sign of significant growth, especially since both Google and Yahoo have either remained fairly flat or declined in those areas since Q2 of 2009. Additionally, information comparing Q1 and Q2 for 2010 continues to confirm Bing’s progress: in that time period, overall PPC spend increased by 10%, mostly led by the retail industry.

Bing is also currently benefiting from pre-Search Alliance testing. According to Yahoo, the two engines began a testing program this month involving up to 25% of organic Yahoo traffic and 3.5% of paid Yahoo search results being powered by Bing. This may account for a small percentage of Bing’s paid spend increase, but the majority of Bing’s recent growth is largely due to their aggressive advertising campaign and heightened interest due to the upcoming merger with Yahoo.

SEO agencies should be prepping their organic and paid clients now for the planned Search Alliance, forcasted to launch in Oct 2010. According to Titan Growth®’s Kris Eszlinger, “We want our clients to be well-prepared for the Yahoo-Bing merger; the most prepared companies will probably fare the best when all is said and done.”

That being said, SEO companies should be adjusting their SEO strategies, revising keyword lists, and planning for PPC budget changes ahead of time. Businesses need to be as prepared and flexible as they can to ensure for a smooth transition before the holiday season.

Contributed by Amanda Finch, VP Operations

The Search Alliance Is Here

Last week, Yahoo and Bing began the handover of Yahoo!’s back-end search technology to Microsoft’s platform in the U.S. and Canada.  This week, the transition is complete within those two countries, with more markets to follow suit in the coming months, and users will begin to notice the “Powered by Bing” disclaimer at the bottom of their Yahoo search results.

This transition has been a long time coming but has also occurred much earlier than expected.  Both Bing and Yahoo! attribute this speedy accomplishment to their multitudes of employees, who have been working together at break-neck speed to complete the transition prior to the 2010 holiday season, a critical time period for most online retailers. The quick changeover will likely have an interesting effect on Bing’s market share, which has already seen substantial growth during the past 12 months.  According to Titan Growth®’s Mackenzie Alvarez, “Based on recent market share data, Bing’s platform will be powering close to 30% of the market.  That’s amazing for a search engine that was only launched a year ago.”

Now that the transition is complete, at least in the U.S. and Canada, SEO agencies that understand and take advantage of these updates will have the opportunity to gain additional market share.  The opportunity is perfect for websites that are not yet optimized since they will be able to focus their “new” efforts on two search engines rather than three.  Agencies that have worked to prepare for such changes will likely see a smooth transition with few negative effects.

As always, search engine updates or large shifts such as the Search Alliance can be stressful for online marketers but also present an opportunity to come out ahead of the competition.  A time of transition such as this is a great chance for well-informed SEO agencies to gain additional exposure for their clients.  The key is research, preparation, and an ongoing effective, flexible strategy going forward.

Contributed by Amanda Finch, VP Operations