First things first, Google is still king when it comes to online search and search engine marketing (the thing that’s important to us – affiliates).

But.

Is Bing catching up to Google in some areas of their activity or presence? Let’s find out.

Rankings

If you’re doing any active SEO work for your affiliate site then you most likely know that your Bing and Google ranks can be very different. Moreover, sometimes, it’s very difficult to please both companies at the same time. For instance, something that works just fine on Bing can get you penalized on Google, and vice versa.

When it’s all said and done though, Google still rules the rankings game. It’s mainly because there’s a lot more info about what to do to rank well on Google. If you browse a number of popular blogs like SEOmoz, you’ll quickly notice that all they talk about is Google, Google, Google. If you want some Bing-specific advice, you’re going to have some tough time. But maybe this is about to change…because:

Traffic

If we take a look at WolframAlpha to check how Bing stacks up to Google, we’ll learn that the big G has “only” ten times more daily visitors than Bing (600 million vs. 67 million) – search engine market share US.

Even though the difference is huge if we look at the raw numbers, it’s still a valid competition. It translates to 10% of total search traffic going through Bing. More interestingly, Bing is still growing (daily traffic; millions of visits per day):

If this trend continues then everyone will have to start treating Bing seriously. Especially considering the fact that real world users enjoy the results Bing provides them with.

User Participation

As mentioned on Search Engine Land, there was a recent blind test performed as part of the Bing It On Challenge. The participants were asked to choose the better search engine without knowing which they were using. The results showed that Bing won with a 2-1 ratio.

All of the above paints a quite interesting picture… as much as it was hard to believe just a couple of years ago, Bing is still here and it’s here to stay.

What Can Affiliates Do To Optimize For Bing?

Probably, until a good on-topic Bing SEO blog comes up on the radar, we’ll have to focus on the techniques that are widely known as good SEO practices overall.

Also, it’s good to pay attention to the bigger picture of things that Google is doing with their brand and anticipate similar actions from Bing.

For example, since Google is now expanding through things like +1 and Google+ for social metrics and factors, we can only predict that Bing will continue including similar metrics in their algorithm too. It’s therefore a good idea to keep our finger on the pulse and notice any social tool/environment that Microsoft releases or buys, so we can jump on it as quickly as possible.

There is still a long way to go for Bing, and a 50-50 market split might never happen, but we should still treat Bing as a serious player and as a company to be reckon with.


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