The Search Engines of the Internet seem to have a penchant for whimsical names… Despite this, by 2006, the verb “google” had crept into dictionaries…
google (verb): search the Internet (for information) using the Google search engine; “He Googled the woman he had met at the party”; “My children are Googling all day”
You might actually start believing that Google is the only search engine out there…
When we discuss Internet search engines, it’s usually Google and her products & services that we discuss. There’s good reason for this; nearly 85% of all searches carried out on the Internet are carried out through Google and they are the world’s most visited website. This certainly does not mean, however, that Google is the world’s only website.
Microsoft’s Bing search engine is a relatively new service ( it was launched on June 3, 2009 ) and is one of the really big search Engines out there (the others being Google, Yahoo! and the Chinese search engine Baidu). In terms of its global use, Bing deals with about 3.39% of all web searches.
So, Google still owns web search…
Don’t be fooled by the numbers, though. 3.39% of the roughly 2 billion (2,000,000,000!) world-wide Internet users out there is still roughly 69 million users. If you consider that each of these users is a possible client or customer, you will not want to miss out on their custom.
It is as important to consider Bing as well as Google as you are promoting and SEOing your website. I consider it tantamount to negligence if you do not target Bing searchers as customers too. Regardless of Bing’s relatively small market share, there are still plenty of good reasons to use Bing, especially their Webmaster Tools.
BING: Bing Is Not Google
In my opinion Bing’s “decision engine” (formerly Live Search, Windows Live Search, and MSN Search) provides a very user-friendly experience for searching. Interestingly, it does provide different web search results from Google and this means that while you might be on the 3rd results page in a Google search, you might be on page 1 or page 2 for the same search in Bing! More people may actually be finding your site via a Bing search than they are via Google.
Search algorithms are not shared by the search engines; they are well kept secrets. This means that your website is seen and interpreted differently by the Googlebot and Bing’s web crawler and different areas of optimization are perceived differently by these two search-giants.
Your websites inclusion in Bing, with a good PageRank, is very important. Bing is highly accessible as a mainstream search engine; it has been localized for many countries and is accessible all over the world.
Bing Products & Services
Bing provides a wealth of services that you should include your website in. If you snoop around Bing, you find that they have many similar products to Google. A few of Bing’s services to check out follow…
Bing provides an Entertainment portal, an events portal, a Finance portal, a news portal, image search, video search, world maps, Local search, a shopping portal, a translator tool, a Weather portal and a partnership with Wolfram|Alpha, which is a particularly interesting online service that I enjoy. Like Google, Wolfram|Alpha answers any factual or mathematical question you might have.
It is all, in fact, very reminiscent of Google; certainly Bing has been competitive with Google in mind when they drew up their list of products and services.
You should visit all the above to determine where to submit your website to… Certainly your business should be included in the Local Listing Center of their Local portal as well as listed on their Shopping directory if you are administrating an e-commerce site or webstore.
By far the most important service to you as a webmaster, though, is Bing Webmaster Central…
Bing Webmaster Central
Using the free Bing Webmaster tools to improve your site’s SEO, you can submit your sites and XML-based Sitemaps to Bing, get data on which pages of your site have been indexed, see all the backlinks that Bing can find to your site, all inbound links to your site as well as the keyword performance of your site in users’ searches.
You can get started with their Webmaster Central by visiting the following URL: http://www.bing.com/toolbox/webmasters/
This gives you a “Bing-eye” view of your website ( much like the Google Webmaster Tools provides you ).
It will show you any crawl errors, how your website was found by users, i.e. using which keywords, shows you where your website is appearing in Bing searches and gives you an opportunity to optimize your website further to appear in as many relevant searches as possible. Are you missing out on a good page rank for a certain keyword? Bing’s Webmaster Central gives you the opportunity to optimize your site further so that it can be found via this keyword with greater ease.
Don’t Forget Bing!
In my opinion, Bing is not better than Google (it was never the intention of this article to prove that this was the case). That does not mean, though, that it is not very useful.
Overall, you should embrace and interact with the services that Bing offers. They probably will not have as much impact as the SEO work that you will do with Google in mind but it will help and does offer resources that are great to use. Always remember, despite it’s relative low market share, 4% of billions of users is still a lot of people.
You can never get enough SEO for your website and their should never stop finding new platforms to promote your business. Remember that it’s links that carry the most SEO weight and your websites inclusion in Bing will help the SEO of your website and it will help people to find your website. You should definitely use Bing.
Regardless of the relative size of Bing’s user-base, in the grand scheme of things, the important thing is that people find your website … it doesn’t matter how it was found.
Further suggested reading: “The Secrets to Promoting Your Website Online” by VodaHost web hosting – Contains a wealth of information on Google products and services as well as Yahoo! and her services that are worth your while.