Why we could see Microsoft Bing become more important

The Bing search engine has been renamed Microsoft Bing. Before you roll your eyes and say: “Really, is that of any importance?”, let me explain why it is.

In terms of “who cares?”, I suspect even Microsoft isn’t particularly concerned about whether people call the search engine by its new name or not. But I suspect the reason they’ve done it is an interim measure, before giving it a back seat within Microsoft Search at some time in the future. And that in turn means they have serious faith in the product, and will continue to invest in its relevance.

Microsoft Search of course already exists, as the search offering within Windows and Office. It combines Bing’s web search with local search on your device or network, and is increasingly impressive and useful.

Those with long memories may recall that Bing came out of MSN Search, Windows Live Search and later Live Search, so this would all be a full circle. The search engine is the number two worldwide behind Google, but that’s fairly meaningless when Google has a 92% market share and Bing just 2.8%. However, I believe Microsoft is increasingly more fondly and respectfully regarded than in the past, and if it can use its ubiquitous Office environment to persuade more people to search through that rather than ‘Googling it’, we could see Bing become more important.

Take a look at your own website analytics to see how important (or not) Microsoft Bing is to you at the moment, and compare the performance of your most important keywords on Google to how you do on the number two search engine. There could be some easy wins if you work at it. Also, don’t underestimate the effectiveness of Bing search advertising – your audience may be a lot smaller than with Google Ads, but with pay per click, that’s not the issue: it’s only the effort of setting up a second set of ads that matters.