There’s no disputing Google’s dominance in the search engine market. Google processes over 40,000 search queries every second of every day. That equates to over 3.5 billion searches per day, and over 1.2 trillion per year. Google owns 63.4% of the search market, as of January 2017.
For search engine optimization (SEO) and overall marketing strategy, Bing is rarely a top consideration. Everything revolves around Google. But recently, Microsoft Bing has climbed to approximately 34.2% of the search market (including Yahoo), and for a few years now Microsoft has made clear their intentions of going all-in on search.
Bing became officially profitable in Q1 of 2016. It’s helpful to keep in mind that Bing, in Microsoft’s current version of search, is only about 8 years old – much younger than Google.
Microsoft has positioned itself well for future growth, making the battle for search market share much more interesting.
The Business of Search Engines
Google is currently so dominant in the search market, it won’t be any time soon that Bing starts to encroach on Google’s search volume; at least, not by directly competing with Google’s algorithmic capabilities. But in all likelihood the nature of search will change dramatically in the near future, and Microsoft is positioning themselves well to capitalize on this evolving landscape. Likewise, marketers and business owners who keep an eye on Bing and its future role in the search market can also capitalize.
Google’s hold on search market share revolves mainly around their algorithmic and machine learning capabilities. Google is still a more accurate search engine for end users and, due to their high search volume, a better place for most marketers to direct their ad spend.
Microsoft, on the other hand, is playing a long-term game. They’re building the versatility and functionality of Bing across many platforms, devices and channels, preparing for a shift in the way search engines interact with users.
As search engines play an evolving role in our lives across our many different devices, Microsoft will be looking to flank Google by leading the market in these new capabilities.
Don’t Count Out Bing
While Google is currently the dominant search engine, Microsoft has a vast suite of products and services that play into the hands of Bing.
Between Windows 10, Microsoft Office, LinkedIn, Cortana, PCs, mobile devices, Xbox consoles, Microsoft Azure and all their other offerings, Bing has the potential to be incorporated into a lot of very popular devices and services to boost market share.
Bing will also benefit significantly from the wealth of user data that all of these products provide, helping it gain on Google’s current leadership in algorithmic capabilities.
Technology changes fast, so nothing’s for sure in the search engine market. But, despite Google’s overwhelming dominance, the battle for search market share may get very interesting in the near future as Microsoft steps up their game.
Don’t count out Bing in this fight for users, and keep an eye on these search engines as they become more equal competitors.