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What does Bing mean to Internet marketers?

Bing Crosby? No, Bing the new search engine. It’s the latest Google-killer from Microsoft that debuts today. (If you don’t believe it’s a Google-killer, just ask them.) But my opinion is that Internet marketers should pay about as much attention to the Bing search engine as to Bing Crosby. No disrespect to Bing, which seems like a good search engine to me, but you should know that I think Microsoft Live Search is pretty good, too–and that’s the one they are getting rid of, because it was the last Google-killer. But Internet marketers (me included) often get excited when something new comes along. And we really should know better.

Bing Crosby

Bing Crosby via last.fm

Now, understand, there’s nothing wrong with getting excited about some new thing coming along. I mean, if this is fun for you, that’s great. Whatever blows your skirt up. But in terms of what marketers should care about to run their business? Move along citizens, there’s nothing to see here.

Here’s what I mean. Google has about 70% of the search query volume in the U.S., so I think you should already care about Yahoo! Search and Live Search, because where else do you routinely write off 30% of your market? So, if you already cared about reaching every searcher you could, then Bing doesn’t really change anything.

On the other hand, if you already decided that you didn’t care about Microsoft’s market share in search, then Microsoft changing their search engine shouldn’t change your mind. You see, the mere introduction of something new gives pundits smarter than me a chance to write about something. It’s new and it’s news. But it doesn’t change the fundamental market. Microsoft’s share the day Bing replaces Live Search will be just about what it was the day before. Now, it’s something that you might want to watch–perhaps Bing will be a really good search engine that starts to steal share from its competitors. So if you have a Google-only strategy, that might cause you to re-evaluate. But that’s about it.

Unfortunately, we often fall for the new thing. We waste our precious time checking out what is new instead of limiting ourselves to what is working. Now, I am a search engine guy and I am very interested to see if Bing is indeed better than Live Search, Yahoo! Search, and Google. But as a marketer, you should reserve your time for more practical matters.

You should spend your day the same way you would if the word “bing” merely brought to mind a bowl of cherries. Whatever you were going to do today, I urge you to follow through. Figure out what change you can make to your Web site or your marketing campaign to make it a little better than yesterday. I bet whatever it is, it has nothing to do with whatever Microsoft is debuting today. Focus on your business and let the pundits write about the exciting new stuff. By the time it’s important to you, trust me, you’ll hear about it.

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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in digital marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website, ibm.com, most recently as the Manager of ibm.com Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at ibm.com from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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