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Why Google will clean Bing’s clock on local and mobile

Just recently as a month or two ago, I really thought that Bing had some genuine hope in making a dent in Google’s search dominance. Each month it seems like Bing picks up a point or two while Google slips a little bit. Yahoo keeps fading into the search background, so sometimes you can think that maybe, just maybe, Bing is going to give Google a run for its money.

Ah, but don’t be fooled. There are two areas where the Internet is heading at a rapid pace and, at least at this point in time, Google has jumped far ahead in these all important aspects. These areas are local and mobile search.

Bing trying to challenge Google

Image by michperu via Flickr

I have spoken about this before but new evidence has come to light that makes me almost absolutely sure that Google is going to beat Bing soundly in the local game no matter what Microsoft does to become more social or whatever (like purchasing Skype this past week).

So how will Google do it? In a way that I never would have guessed in a million Internet years. They will get out of the Googleplex and interact with the SMB and make the effort to develop the unheard of “R” word which is usually only reserved for the highest paying Adwords accounts. That word is relationships.

Yup, that’s right, Google is seeking to reach out and bond with the one group of businesses that has been an elusive target for many; the SMB. Recently, I wrote a few posts over at Marketing Pilgrim about Google’s efforts to market their Places service to small businesses in Portland, OR, Austin, TX, Madison, WI, Las Vegas, NV, Charlotte, NC and San Diego, CA. If what is happening in these test markets is any indication of Google’s commitment to getting out and owning the SMB market, then honestly, Bing doesn’t stand a chance.

Google is handing out free marketing materials for this endeavor and they are putting people in markets as well as doing consumer advertising. According to Google representatives, they are trying to discover what techniques work the best where and when. They are looking for the way to educate and enlist the elusive SMB and finding that there is no real way to create an algorithm for this creature. Imagine that. Google can’t figure something out with an algorithm.

Here’s the trick though. They are doing so much more than Bing to dominate this critical area of the future that includes mobile search (of which Google already has a reported 97% market share for) that Bing may not have a real chance to play along. Bing has supposedly made their business listings easier and improved the overall experience. Trouble is that no one knows it and they won’t, unless they are told by Bing.

So, there isn’t much to see here, really. Google is doing something that is out of character to reach an area of the business world that they have essentially ignored until now. The difference is simply that they are making the effort and, in a world where automation is king, that may be all anyone needs to do to stand out these days.

There must be some big changes in the air because I never thought I would be praising Google for its marketing efforts. While I don’t want to just hand the win to Google, based on what I can see, I may not have a choice.

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