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Is Bing really a strong competition for Google?

Couple of months ago, few leading search engine experts dismissed suggestions that Microsoft’s new search engine, BING, could ever challenge Google. But time changes fast, and now the same experts have admitted they were mistaken. As of October 2010, Bing is the fourth largest search engine on the web by query volume.

Introduction: Bing is the Web Search Engine (formerly Live Search, Windows Live Search, and MSN Search) and is the baby of Microsoft. It was unveiled by Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO in May 2009 in San Diego. Microsoft designed Bing as a “decision engine”, rather than a search engine. Bing attempts to decode the overall meaning of a phrase, rather than place an emphasis on individual words.

Appearance: Bing looks similar to Google. The basic home page displays the Bing logo, along with a text box ready for a new search – but as per the experts opinion there are a number of key differences behind the scenes that change how Bing works.

On daily basis Bing changes the background images, which make the home page more attractive. The images are mostly of noteworthy places in the world, though it sometimes displays animals, people, and sports. The background image also contains information about the element(s) shown in the image.

Market Status: Before the launch of Bing the market share of Microsoft web search pages had been steadily declining. Since the launch of Bing in the USA, Microsoft has increased its US search market share. In July Bing search engine increased its US market share from 8.23% to 9.41%, while Google’s share fell 1% to around 65%. Google’s own data says, “Word “Bing” is the seventh most popular search term on Google in Australia”.

Growth Factor: Day-in-and-day-out Bing is growing faster. Microsoft has recently signed a long-awaited deal with Yahoo. This will see the new engine power searches on all of Yahoo’s websites. As per the information, together Bing and Yahoo will control 30% of the market.

International: Bing is now available in about forty languages and has been localized for many countries.

Webmaster Services: Bing allows webmasters to manage the web crawling status of their own websites through Bing Webmaster Center. Additionally, users may also submit contents to Bing via (1) Bing Local Listing Center, for businesses to add business listings onto Bing Maps and Bing Local and (2) Soapbox on MSN Video for users to upload videos for searching via Bing Videos.

Expert Opinions: The experts admitting that they were mistaken are now encouraging businesses to get on board and use BING for there business expansion.

Jim Stewart, Chief Executive, Stewart Media, have agreed to make Bing part of a company’s SEO strategy, but also asks to be careful considering the targeted market.

Jasmin Batra, the Founder of Arrow Internet Marketing, says “Bing has managed to survive the “novelty” factor by providing its users with relevant links”. Market certainly required some change as it was becoming monopolised with Google being “the” search engine. Competition is all the time good”.

Paul Fisher, Chief Executive of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, says “Bing’s introduction in the market has shaken up the internet world. In truth it’s good for the industry with more resources and also good for the advertisers and consumers to have more than one dominant player in the market.”

Chief Executive, WebSalad- Jason West, have started explaining Bing and its benefits to his clients. He was happy returning from the United States where Bing was the scorching topic amongst the SEO experts. “There are more people starting to use it, and so definitely I think you could say Bing is something you cannot ignore any longer”, adds Jason West.

Chris Thomas the Chief Executive of Reseo, initially warned businesses not to become too excited about Bing, but now he advises to start thinking about SEO and even advertising with Bing.