You’d have to be living under a rock to not have noticed Bing’s intensive marketing campaign in 2009. During nearly every commercial break was a cleverly placed advertisement from Microsoft’s newest search engine, featuring a person under the influence of “search overload” uncontrollably spitting out random factoids of information.
Bing was unveiled in May of 2009 as a Decision Engine—a consumer brand that Microsoft claimed would “provide customers with a first step in moving beyond search to help make faster, more informed decisions.” It does this by using intuitive tools to help customers make better decisions, focusing initially on four key vertical areas: making a purchase decision, planning a trip, researching a health condition or finding a local business. In other words, it knows what you want before you do. But dominating the search engine market share is no easy feat. According to ComScore, a digital marketing company that specializes in audience measurement, Google is the reigning search engine with more than 65% of the online market share (from January 2010 release). No other site has come close to this number, with Yahoo trailing at 17% (down .3% from December 2009 and 3% from the year before), and Bing in a close third place at 11.3%.
Since Bing’s inception, Microsoft’s market share has jumped 3.3% in under a year—gaining a whopping .6% from December to January alone. At this rate, Bing will quickly usurp Yahoo for the title of number two search engine. In less than a year, Bing has managed to grab just as much of the market share as Yahoo has lost. Could this be coincidence or part of a bigger strategic marketing strategy waged by Microsoft? It appears to be the latter. There has been a deal long in the works between Yahoo and Microsoft, and the United States government and the EU have finally given the two companies the green light to take on the Google monster as a team. So what could this mean for advertisers? For one, it would open up the advertising and marketing world tremendously, putting the nearly 577 million worldwide search users right at your company’s fingertips.
This merger aims to produce positive results for Yahoo, who recently lost the position of second most popular website to Facebook (ironically just months after the two entered into a deal that allowed users to directly connect to the social media super site directly through the Yahoo homepage). With no sign of Bing slowing down in the growth sector, Google better hold on to its search results—it could be a bumpy ride.