Did anyone expect Bing to have an impact? The question is becoming moot as studies show Bing users are more likely than Google users to click on an ad. The new question is how and to what extent.
According to a study done by online advertising network Chitika, who analyzed 32 million ad impressions across a network of 50,000 websites, users of Microsoft’s new search engine may be more receptive to advertisements, based on a 1.5% click-through rate for Bing compared to. 97% for Google and 1.24% for Yahoo. The ‘why’ behind Chitika’s findings can be speculated at length, although it seems a bit early in the game to come to any real conclusion. It has been nearly 2 months since Bing’s official June 3rd launch, and heavy promotion to the tune of 100 million ad dollars is likely to have made an impact in driving users to the site. As many have said, it makes sense a user clicking on an ad directing them to Bing is likely to click on an ad within Bing, but this is hardly conclusive evidence and making any sweeping generalizations about Bing users is premature.
Nonetheless, the findings of Chitika’s study are interesting, and help flesh out the argument that Microsoft may have a real shot at stealing some of the paid search market from Google. Looking at ComScore’s June 2009 search engine rankings report, it is clear Bing’s .04% increase in market share in June puts nary a dent in Google’s 65%, and while growth is good at a time when internet activity seems to be reaching a plateau, it is too early to say just how well Bing will fare over time, and whether Google has any reason to worry.
On the other hand, if the impending merger between Microsoft and Yahoo materializes, and according to online sources like TechCrunch, a Yahoo/Microsoft merger is likely to happen as soon as this week, it may give Google reason to refine their search strategy.
If the impending MSFT/Yahoo deal isn’t reason enough for Google to step up its game, maybe the fact that my Google search results are becoming less relevant and more convoluted is.
This first struck my attention early last year when I found it was taking me longer to find what I needed online. I figured my disappointment with Google’s search results was the result of algorithm changes and SEO, and I assumed I needed to adjust my approach and use more long-tail keywords. But things just seem to be getting worse.
Today, a search for one of my blog post’s returned a content aggregator site as the #1 result. I clicked, hoping it would take me to my post immediately, and my virus detector alerted me it was blocking the site for malicious activity.
I know this stuff happens, Google, but really? Malicious sites in the top 10 results? Not to mention the random blog posts and reviews returned when I’m looking to buy a product, or the overall proliferation of well-optimized fluff. I used to swear by you Google, but I am ready to try something new.
What do you think? Have you spent any time using Bing? Have you noticed Google search results becoming less relevant? Do you think a Yahoo/Microsoft deal will change the way we search? Post your thoughts below! I’ve added Bing to my list of search engines in my Firefox toolbar, so I’ll let you know how it goes.