Has Bing Really Had an Impact on Search and Should This Change Our SEO Efforts?

In Mar/April last year I made comment on Bing and did a little comparison between Google’s and Bing’s results in terms of what factors I thought differed between them. At that point everyone expected Bing to make a real dent in Google’s search share with Microsoft pumping millions in investment into the project.

Now we are approaching the end of 2010 and Bing have had a little over a year to establish some authority, I thought it would be interesting to see what impact they have had, after all for some reason I seem to rank No.1 for “bing seo” 🙂

In order to look at search share I compiled the stats from 100 sites that I have analytics data for, this includes client websites, associate websites and obviously my own websites. The websites range from high end brands to new start up websites and across multiple verticals, there is no point taking into account traffic levels due to seasonal search and ongoing SEO efforts, however it was interesting to look at the month on month search share since the beginning of the year.

No websites will be divulged due to privacy reasons

This research is based on 100 UK based websites and provides limited information into current search share.

2010 So far

Bing Search Share

As you can see from the above chart Google is still dominating proceedings in the UK with its search share actually growing to above 90% from May onwards.

Both Yahoo and Bing have diminished in terms of their share by nearly 1% each, no doubt this is being lost to social websites like twitter and facebook but Google still seems to be pinching the traffic.

In July both Yahoo and Bing had less than 5% search share with Yahoo slightly piping Bing.

Bing Search July

So What Now?

I am sure we have all seen Bing on TV, “the decision engine” right? Well it looks like, at least from this research that Bing is having very little impact, maybe stealing the odd bit of traffic from Yahoo but really not bringing a challenge to the door of the big G!

There have been a few shouts around the internet marketing community saying Bing is getting more and more popular and that efforts should be made now to optimise for Bing, at the minute I really don’t see the point.

I have a number of contacts in Germany and France and they too have confirmed Google’s growth and the insignificance of Bing. What I would really love to see is some US based research that shows some kind of increase in Bing’s share otherwise I am afraid it is just going to get swept under the carpet like all the other search alternatives.

SO….. In brief…… Google is still Daddy and there is nothing to suggest a change in the near future.


is the CEO of Branded3 a Search Marketing Agency in the UK. Tim has over a decade of experience in Search and regularly speaks at key events and conferences.

10 thoughts on “Has Bing Really Had an Impact on Search and Should This Change Our SEO Efforts?

  1. Yep I agree Bing doesn’t seem to have made a serious impact. This is my theory optimize for Google and you will most likely get traffic from Bing and Yahoo too. For one of my websites here is some stats:

    Traffic from Google this month: estimate: 1,000
    Bing: 72
    Yahoo: 51 (for some reason yahoo traffic has been slowly dropping while google traffic has been rising)

    As far as competition Google has one competitor- Facebook and facebook only.

  2. Hi Aaron,

    I kind of see Facebook as a competitor, however I am not convinced of it. The thing is people visit facebook, look at their profile, nosey on friends and check for updates. Do they go on ti to start a search? I don’t think so…. Do they go on it to look for businesses, solutions or products?? Again I am not convinced. Even though facebook may have generated more traffic over the last 6 months I am still not convinced it is the sort of traffic looking to perform a transaction, commercial traffic I guess and while ever this is still the case facebook cannot use the traffic like Google can. People search Google for solutions, so businesses optimise for it, while ever this is happening Google is always going to be the place to look for new business and products.

    It is a bit like these huge social blogs, they may generate huge amounts of traffic, but does this traffic convert?? I very much doubt it, I can tell you from my own website I get close to 5000 visits a month from stumble, as little as 0.01% take any action, Google traffic is more like 2.8%, a huge difference and this is the key to Googles success.

  3. Hi Tim,
    I’m way behind in reading blog articles and commenting. I live in a touristy place and my property is the perfect spot for friends and family to park their caravans, RVs, etc. for the summer and enjoy all the island has to offer. Consequently, I tend to be very busy in the summertime.

    I have noticed the Bing has indexed fewer of my posts than Google has and that I don’t seem to derive any traffic from that search engine. That’s all I have observed about my own blogs which are not monetized, so reading your article was informative. I have backed away from stumbleupon for two reasons. The first is that I don’t have the time to devote to reviewing articles, and finding my box over-flowing with share requests day in and day out was discouraging. The second was that although a boost in traffic is the result of someone stumbling my articles of my blog this always results in a very high bounce rate. So I decided to back-off and see what my true traffic stats are.

    Fall is just around the corner. I hope you have had a grand summer.

    Best wishes,

  4. Hi How’s it going!!

    Not heard from you in while. Definitely on the money with Bing unfortunately, I just can’t see how it is ever going to challenge. I also feel you pain with stumble, hundreds of requests and you wonder what real benefit is coming of it, having said that I know a few stumble experts and even though the traffic is artificial it certainly helps if you need a good alexa score to sell advertising, I guess it depends on your business model.

    Summer has been pretty good for me, minus the not so good British weather. Looking forward to moving into the festivities now!

    Anyway enjoy the rest of the summer, I do drop in on your blog every fortnight or so but like you say am struggling to make any decent contributions at the minute, always been my weakness to be honest.

  5. I agree. Google is clearly the leading search engine and as it’s used so very frequently and recieves so much traffic, it is always going to be a challenge to even attempt to compete with for it’s rivals (alternative search engine). Google has recently released ‘Google Instant’ which is causing discussion and curiosity for SEO companies. I say now this ‘Google Instant’ has come into action, Google is going to be even better, more developed and harder to beat, as it simply has too much to offer. Although we don’t know what effect Google Instant will have, and what impact it will make, we believe that SEO companies worth their salt will be fine – whilst those who follow the black hat methods will suffer. Google’s intelligence should not be undermined. If you can do well in Google, you can do well in the other major search engines, like Yahoo and Bing – and this is from experience of solid results.

  6. I find as long as you optimise well for Google, a website will also appear in Bing and Yahoo!.

    I never forget Bing as a number of my clients web browsers have been set to Bing and they know no different because they are not into the internet. To be honest if I wasn’t an SEO I would prefer Bing myself.

    Facebook is an area I’m keeping an eye on, from feed back from friends, family and clients, not many of them have noticed the adverts but a number of them do follow companies they like.

  7. For whatever reason Bing barely changes in terms of it’s listings, still will be good to see the impact when Yahoo and Bing are fully integrated.

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