How Does the Change From Live Search to Bing Effect Me and My Rankings?

Every day web users had access to Bing on June 3, 2009. Why did Microsoft change the search engine and what does this mean to the search engine ranking your company already has achieved? Will your keyword ranking suffer at all?

The first question is quite simple to answer. Microsoft is desperate to grasp some of the market share that Google now enjoys. Do the names Magellan, Open Text, InfoSeek, Snap and Direct Hit ring a bell? These are all Search engines that Google has gobbled up in the last decade. In 2006 the market share for Google and Live Search were 49.2% and 9.6% respectively. At the time of Bing’s launch the market share of Google had grown to 72.4% and Live Search had fallen to just 6.3%. With the Google slice of the search engine pie so large and showing no sign of slowing, Microsoft had to make some improvements to their search engine offering.

The second question is not so easily answered. At first glance, the rankings you and your SEO provider have worked so hard to get should not be affected. Some features of the new Bing are impressive and could garner an ease of use which could be beneficial to your website visitors. One main difference is the fact that Microsoft calls their latest offering a “decision engine” not a “search engine”. The primary reason for the title change is that Bing is supposed to help the user make decisions by delivering the best results, presented in a more organized way to simplify key tasks and actually help you make decisions faster. There are features such as cash back on great products, and Price Predictor, which will tell the user when to buy an airline ticket in order to help get you the best price. Bing will also offer compare and contrast features so your customer will be able to compare your product, price and shipping requirements against others. It could be wonderful for your business to have such features at the tip of the user’s fingers. A primary goal of all websites is for the consumer to make a smart decision (the decision to buy) at a fast pace. Bing says it will do just that.


Something else to keep in mind is that Microsoft plans on spending between million and 0 million marketing Bing. These numbers represent almost a quarter of their total yearly advertising budget. This immense amount of advertising can only help all of those websites ranked on Bing. High rankings should translate into higher rewards (sales). It is almost like getting free advertising. Your SEO company should work very hard in the next year to increase your rank on Bing so you can take advantage of this advertising push.

Microsoft reports that your website’s rankings may jump around a bit at first. They say that the rankings will stabilize “in a short while”. Since the searches are going to be more refined and narrowed, it is believed that URL’s with hyphen separated words will have an initial bounce. But the results are too new to analyze. We can only go by what Microsoft says at this time.

Should you change your SEO optimization strategy? It is always a good idea to speak with your professional, but at this time, probably not. Remember how small Bing’s slice of the search engine pie is. A month into its launch, Bing’s share has grown to 8.23% of all searches. While this is not a great number, the upward trend can only help those websites rank well on Bing. Microsoft’s Bing has come quite far in a short amount of time. Last year the most commonly searched term on Live Search was “Google”. After its unveiling, Steve Wozniak, the Apple co-founder called Bing “astounding.” All the buzz can only increase web traffic and hopefully increase web sales.

Chuck R Stewart is an SEO expert who helps his clients obtain a high search engine ranking for their business websites. He works closely with the client in order to come up with the optimum keyword ranking.


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