Chances are that you are focusing most of your digital marketing efforts on ranking high in Google search engine results pages (SERP). You are probably employing search engine optimization tactics to rank high in organic, free results. You may even be investing in paid Google Ads.
And that’s smart. After all, Google is the world’s predominant search engine. However, you shouldn’t forget about other search engines. For example, Bing has a lot of benefits. In fact, the average cost-per-click (CPC) on Bing is $7.99, while the average Google PPC is $20.08. Google also lacks transparency when it comes to giving business owners information on where certain consumers are coming from and their data.
This is why it might make sense for some businesses to focus on Bing and Yahoo, in addition to, or in place of Google. Here, we’ll explain questions you should ask if you want to determine which search engine is best for you.
Where Does Your Target Audience Live?
This one is simple. If you are trying to sell products in Russia or China, or want to connect with businesses in those countries, don’t focus too much on Google. Google Search is partially blocked in China. Requests from China to Google Search are automatically redirected to Google.com.hk, Google’s Hong Kong servers. Depending on what you search for on the Hong Kong version, the content may be censored in China. In 2022, Google suspended all advertising in Russia to protest the country’s invasion of Ukraine. A few days after that move, Google suspended Google Play in Russia, meaning its users there could no longer buy apps or subscriptions.
The problem is that Bing and Yahoo are also blocked in China. Bing and Yahoo are available in Russia but they’ve suspended ad sales.
Winner: If your audience is anywhere but Russia or China, Google wins. If your audience is in China or Russia, go with Bing.
Which Search Engine Has the Biggest Market Share?
Google dominates the industry when it comes to market share, owning around 86%. Meanwhile, Bing accounts for about 8% percent of the global desktop search market and Yahoo’s market share is around 2% percent.
Your goals are always better reached through Google. The only time you want to reconsider putting more effort into Bing or Yahoo is if you think ChatGPT will change things. Bing, owned by Microsoft, offers users the chance to use ChatGPT when searching. According to some sources, Bing Chat had over 100 million daily active users a month after its launch. So if you think Chat GPT will take off, or your users tend to use ChatGPT, Bing deserves some time, energy, and money.
Yahoo features news on its homepage. Unlike Google’s blank page, some users like to see news on a search page. So if your audience is newsy, investing time and money in Yahoo may pay off. Yahoo also predates Bing and Google. So if your client base is older, they may still use Yahoo instead of Google, which is why optimizing your site for Yahoo may make more sense. Many older people also still use Yahoo Mail, their version of Gmail. They’re also popular in the gaming space. And once again, it’s easier and cheaper to rank high in Yahoo Compared to Google.
For example, if you are offering news podcasts, you should try to optimize your content for Yahoo’s search engine. If you sell hearing aids, Yahoo should be part of your marketing plan. If you sell headphones, people who use ChatGPT may want a new pair. Or if you sell AI detectors, you should use Bing, the leader in AI.
We can teach you how to optimize content for search engines other than Google. In fact, we’ll create the content for you if you’d like.
Winner: Google unless you have products geared towards very specific groups.
How Much Do Long Tail Keywords Matter to You?
A long-tail keyword is a group of words that make your search more specific. These words usually lead to fewer results, but the results themselves are more precise to what a person is searching for. An example of long-tail keywords would be searching for “Chicago massage cupping sauna” instead of just searching for “Chicago massage.”
Try that on Google. Right away, you’ll see sponsored and organic links to wellness centers that offer both services. Now try using that long-tail keyword search on Bing and Yahoo. Google directed us immediately to companies that use all three services. That’s because Google has such a high market share. Yahoo directs us to Yelp, which is a much less user-friendly way to find studios and involves more clicking. Bing shows a map that likely offers all three services, but doesn’t include the word “cupping” or “Sauna” in the descriptions, so a user will be left wondering if those places offer those services.
Video Search Results
If video search results are a big part of your brand awareness and SEO campaign, you may be surprised by the winner here. Since Google owns YouTube, you’d think Google would win this hands down. But video results in Google just look like standard search results. When you hover over the video, nothing happens. And when you click on the video, you’re redirected to another page. That slows down the process. And sometimes, you’re redirected to a text article, not a video.
With Bing, on the other hand, videos are easier. The videos, like with Google, appear on the search results page. When you hover over a video, it plays a preview. You can also see scenes from the video without watching it. The video also plays directly in Bing so it’s very easy to jump from video to video.
Yahoo! Does a nice job previewing videos, but you need to click on the “video” icon to see them.
Products Appearing in Image Search
If part of your strategy is having products with shoppable links appear in images, you want to examine the pros and cons of each search engine. Let’s say you sell coffee cups with the word “Chicago” on them.
Go to Google and enter “Chicago coffee cup.” Several products will appear on the main page as images. They are all sponsored. Under images, you’ll see even more paid product ads. But eventually, you’ll see organic free images. The competition to get your product image in these top spots, whether you pay or use free SEO techniques, is fierce.
On Bing, you’ll see fewer images, and the ones that you do see are paid ads. But right away, you’ll see organic results. While you can’t see the pictures, you can at least read about the cups. On Yahoo, you’ll see images and text. They have free images fairly high up on the page, too. So what you really want to consider here is the quality of your images. If you have subpar images, don’t invest a lot of money into Google. If you have amazing images and enough money, Google may be worth it.
Winner: Start with Bing.
You can pay to have your products featured in the Google Shopping tab. The same goes for Bing and Yahoo. Google Shopping lets users explore and buy items from online sellers and local retailers. They offer an array of filters so people can search by price, style, location, and more.
With Bing Shopping Ads, your products can be displayed at the top of search results or in the sidebar. Like Google, the ad will show your product image, price, and company name. When a user clicks on your ad, they are taken directly to your website. Here’s the best part. With Microsoft Shopping Ads, you can run your products on various search engines such as Bing, Yahoo, and AOL, as well as on sites like msn.com.
So if you are new to the ad game, you may see more payoff from Bing, especially if the average keyword price for words related to your products is expensive on Google.
Winner: Start with Bing, especially if you are new to the game.
Still Have Questions?
If you still have questions about which search engine is right for you, reach out to SEO Design Chicago. Just because Google is the biggest game in town doesn’t mean they’re the only game in town! We’re happy to hop on a call with you to talk about the differences between search engines and your company’s needs.
- What is CPC on Google?
- What are long-tail keywords?
- How effective are Google’s video search results?
- What companies dominate the search engine market?
- Where are Bing Shopping Ads shown?