Bing to Encrypt Search Queries Starting This Summer

Bing has recently announced that they will now encrypt search traffic by default starting sometime this summer. This comes from a commitment to help keep data safe and secure, and following the industry’s general move to use TLS protocols. Bing users have had the option to encrypt searches for the last year and a half but now do not have to worry about taking this extra step to protect their privacy. All Bing searches will be encrypted.

This has several impacts on webmasters and marketers:

  1. Your traffic from Bing will increasingly come from https://www.bing.com vs http://www.bing.com
  2. Bing will not pass on the users’ query terms to webmasters and marketers.
  3. You will have limited access to query term data through Search Query Terms Report and Universal Event tracking within Bing Ads, and through Bing Webmaster Tools.

Since late 2011 Google has directed more and more searches to a secure page for their search activity and Webmasters have become accustomed to seeing the “not provided” or “keyword unavailable” in their data. At first Google predicted this would impact about 10% of search query data, but that number kept growing, and now most Webmasters see their “not provided” traffic for about 80-90% of their Google traffic.

Microsoft admits that this change may impact marketers and webmasters but believes the benefit of providing a more secure search is more important.

Read the official announcement here or learn more about how you can start to secure your website or sign up for Bing Webmaster Tools.

Bing Claims 20 Percent Search Market Share in 2015

The latest numbers by comScore are out and Bing search percent has officially hit the 20% market share in the US:

EntityShare % (March 2015)
Google Sites64.4%
Microsoft Sites (Bing)20.1%
Yahoo Sites12.7%
Ask Network1.8%
AOL., Inc.1.1%

The Bing vs Google percentage debate is still ongoing. Google is still very much the “big player” and essentially the Search Engine most businesses focus on ranking well. However, don’t forget that Bing search percentage is actually around 33% since it serves results in Yahoo search too.

Take a look in your own Google Analytics account to see what percentage of your search traffic comes from Google and what percentage comes from Bing. Compare your own traffic to overall share.

Read all of our Bing articles to become more familiar with this Search Engine.

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What’s the Most Important Search Factor in 2013 According to Matt Cutts and Duane Forrestor?

Recently Matt Cutts (Head of Google’s Webspam Team) and Duane Forrestor (Sr. Product Manager – Webmaster Outreach at Bing) were asked during a panel discussion about the most important search factors for 2013.

Here are 5 key takeaways from their answers that you need to know for your website.

1. Mobile is on the verge of massive growth.

Duane Forrestor cites that mobile is critical as mobile devices are expected to almost triple in the next several years – from 9 billion devices to 25 billion devices. This makes mobile the most important area that is highly actionable.

2. How your website looks like on a mobile device matters … a lot.

Matt Cutts also answered that you better start thinking about what your website looks on mobile devices if you  haven’t already.

3. Mobile is more important than social.

Finally, Matt Cutts added that even though social is highly talked about right now but mobile will be important in years to come. It’s hard to know if he is implying that the importance of social will decrease but from his comments we can infer that if you invest in your mobile website now your dollars will not go to waste.

4. You can still get a head start with mobile design.

Duane Forrestor reminds everyone that Bing “follows what the consumers want” … just like Google has been emphasizing user experience is the most important thing to pursue in search engine optimization. Forrestor says that only 4% of sites have implemented responsive mobile design that detects when a user is using a mobile device and shows a website that displays properly and is functionally satisfying. This means that you can still get ahead of your competition in adopting mobile responsive web design.

5. Use Google Analytics to track your mobile traffic growth.

You can use your Google Analytics traffic to see how many visitors are on a desktop PC, on a mobile device and on a tablet. You can also track what type of devices visitors are using, the screen size, service provider and operating system. If you have not set up Google Analytics for your website you are missing out on crucial insights to growing your website.

Read more of Cutts and Forrestor’s answers to this question and others from the panel discussion titled “What’s Needed for SEO Success In 2013 & Beyond” in the article written by Brafton.

 

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Bing It On Challenge

Today while checking out how one of our clients listings appears on Bing I was presented with the Bing It On challenge and decided to take a couple minutes to give it a try.

Bing It On is a “Google vs. Bing” challenge that asks you run five different searches and returns side by side Google and Bing results. Each time you blindly choose which one you prefer.

I was a little surprised at the results I got. I went 5 for 5 in choosing Google’s search results!

Here are three searches I was able to replicate in Google to show you why I chose what I did.

1. The search for “when is the first day of spring” gave me the answer in big bold letters, it couldn’t be missed.

2. The search for College Basketball Scores gave me the most up to date scores on games played last night. I even found out that the San Jose State vs. UTSA game was cancelled.

3. And my last search: “When does daylight savings start” as just another clear reminder to set your clocks back this weekend!

There you have it .. the results to my Bing It On Challenge! Which Search Engine do you prefer?

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Click Through Rates in Google and Bing

Websites strive to achieve top rankings because the top spots always get the most clicks and visitors. This may seem obvious but the difference between Position 1 and Position 10 is quite astounding:

“A change in rank from 10 to 1 [in Bing] will generate approximately 1650% more traffic and associated sales.” (Slingshot SEO)

But can we assume that these results and CTRs are equal across both Google and Bing?

Do Bing and Google have the same CTRs?

A recent study performed by Slingshot SEO reports that Bing has as significantly lower CTR for its home page. The top 10 ranked websites on Bing only get 26.32% of clicks while the top 10 ranked websites on Google get nearly double the amount of clicks (52.32%).

Here’s how the two search engines compare across the Top 10 positions.

Why is there a difference in CTRs?

While some may jump to the conclusion that Bing’s results are not as accurate or relevant to searchers, causing a much lower CTR, a Search Engine Land article provides some insight on why else this may be:

  • Users are clicking elsewhere such as the ‘related searches’ option, paid results, images, videos news etc. or are going to Page 2
  • Bing’s demographics are very different and are made up of the older generation, skewed towards females
  • Many use Bing because it is their default search engine – as evident in 117 million searches for “Google” in Bing each month as searchers move over to Google

If you have been trying to optimize your website for Bing – don’t lose heart. Remember that Bing is termed the “decision engine” and that Bing often provides higher conversion rates. Keep striving to achieve better visibility in Bing just as you do for better visibility in Google.

Download Slightshot SEO’s Google & Bing Click-Through Rates Report here.

Learn more about the Search Engines by watching our Search Engine Optimization Tutorial Video.

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Google vs Bing: What’s the Difference and Who Should I Optimize For?

The term “search” has become near synonymous with Google.

When asked a question that we don’t know the answer to, we commonly respond, “I don’t know, just GOOGLE it!

Just over two years ago Microsoft launched its newest Search Engine called Bing. Bing was marketed as a ‘decision engine’ and has grown in popularity ever since. Some joke that Bing stands for “Because It’s Not Google” and others feel that Bing has a nice ring to it, as if to signal an answer to a question.

Aside from the obvious visual differences between Google’s simple homepage and Bing’s graphical homepage there are a few other key differences between the two Search Engines – which begs us to ask, “Which Search Engine should I optimize for?” and “Which one is better from a marketing standpoint?

Before addressing these questions let’s take a look at some of the similarities.

Striking Similarities between Google and Bing

You can read all about the debate of who is copying who – whether Bing is copying Google’s ideas or vice versa – but at this point in time there are quite a few similarities between the two Search Engines.

For example:

  • Both algorithms account for relevancy and link analysis
  • Both use universal search
  • Both localize search results
  • Both offer paid search results (Google AdWords and Bing’s adCenter)
  • Both use a left navigation bar to filter search results
  • Both account for domain relevancy in algorithms

Should I Optimize for Google or Bing?

Most online searchers have developed a personal preference for either Bing or Google. These preferences may be based on the belief that one provides better results than the other, developed out of habit or simply the fact that one is saved as their homepage.

There are arguments for using both Search Engines.

A small test experiment performed over at Search Engine Land in January 2011 investigated the Fallacy of the Superior Search Engine. The results may surprise and interest you. Based on 20 different searches, both informational and transactional, Bing was able to provide higher quality search results. You can read all the details for yourself.

Whether or not one provides better results than the other, we need to acknowledge that both search engines direct visitor traffic to your site. As a website owner it is important to optimize your site for both Search Engines; whether one more important than the other may be purely subjective but it is recommended that you not completely ignore either of them.

Google has More Traffic …

In May 2011, Google received over 9.5 billion search queries, according to a Search Market Share Report by Compete. That is over 3,500 searches per second!

However, we can now see that Bing is catching up to Google in terms of Search Volumes:

  • Google’s query volume decreased by over 12% from May 2010 to May 2011.
  • Over the same period of time, Bing’s query volume increased by over 40%.
  • As of May 2011, Bing has just about half of Google’s search volume (4,726 m compared to Google’s 9,510 m searches).

Bing is also catching up to Google in terms of Market Share:

  • Google’s Market Share slipped by 10.3% from May 2010 to May 2011 and is now still a respectable 63.6%.
  • While there is no historical data reported, Bing’s Market Share in May 2011 was 31.6%

If you track your traffic sources you can probably see that the strong majority of Search Engine traffic comes from Google. Over 90% of all of the Search Traffic for our website is from Google. Don’t be surprised if these numbers change in the future.

Bing Does Have Higher Conversion Rates

The higher conversion rates of Bing visitors are often downplayed by the fact that Bing provides significantly less traffic to a website.

But do not underestimate the value of Bing visitors. The article titled Google isn’t the only game in town fully discusses how ignoring Bing means leaving money on the table:

Bing’s strategic positioning as a “decision engine” means that its users are “more shopping and retail focused than Google.” If this is true, a visitor from Bing is much more valuable to your site than a visitor from Google simply because Bing’s visitor traffic is ready to make a purchase.

This equates to higher conversion rates from Bing.

Using analytical tools, track your visitor traffic sources for each goal or conversion and see if Bing is sending better visitors your way than Google is.

Bing vs Google Pay Per Click Campaigns

If you are also running a Search Marketing (PPC) Campaign you will need to make the decision whether you should use Google AdWords or Bing Ads. Both have their pros and cons; perhaps you will decide to run ads in both Search Platforms.

Stay Focused on Building a Quality Website

Search Engine Optimization professionals and others within the industry are finding that the difference between rankings in either Search Engine is beginning to shrink.

In other words, where you rank in Google is getting closer to being the same as where you rank in Bing. We can expect adjustments to each Search Engine’s algorithms in the future but we know that the algorithms will still strongly emphasize quality content and relevant link credibility.

As a result, most SEO practices focus on these themes rather than trying to optimize for a specific Search Engine. Focusing on optimizing for one Search Engine is a short sighted strategy that may not be as effective in the future.

For more information on optimizing your website for Search Engines like Google or Bing, please call Toll Free 1-888-262-6687 or complete our Contact Request Form.

Browse all current Google Blog Articles or
Bing Blog Articles and continue learning!