By Sarah Douglas and Amanda Patterson
Plenty of rumors have circulated lately about the increasing competition between Google and Bing. Recent news on Bing’s increased market share followed closely on the heels of accusations that they’ve been copying results from Google. Not since the Apple/Microsoft stand-off has a rivalry held so much made-for-TV-movie potential. With so many articles and blogs covering the topic, it’s not easy to keep track of what exactly is going on.
Here is our quick guide to the Google vs. Bing debate: THE NUMBERS When it comes to market share, Google is indisputably the leader of the pack with 65.6% of the search engine market for January, according to ComScore. Although Bing is far from overtaking them, their increase to 13.1% of market share should not be ignored. Gaining any traction against a giant like Google is an accomplishment in itself - even if some of that increase can be directly attributed to Bing assuming some distribution agreements. (It is also worth noting that a portion of their market share has been gained from their alliance with Yahoo and its portion of users).
The most recent dust-up between the two search giants is over their respective technologies for ranking web pages. The overly simplified summary is that Google publicly accused Bing of using Google’s search results as a means for generating their own – meaning that a high ranking in Google would be used to help determine which sites should also rank high in Bing. Bing first denied, then defended the practice, explaining that it is only one of many signals they base their rankings on.
Google is still the gold standard of the search engine world. Bing has miles to go if they want to become the dominant search engine. Still, they are making strides and gaining speed. Their recent Facebook partnership has proven they know how to build the kind of powerful, strategic relationships that will increase their relevancy among today’s web users and strengthen their offering.
LONG LIVE THE PIRATES OF SILICON VALLEY
If necessity is the mother of invention, competition is surely the father of genius. Competition in any market is good for the businesses involved and the end user or customer, but in Silicon Valley these types of rivalries have proven that it can breed brilliant design, ingenious products, and stunning functionality that make consumers swoon.
Google has enjoyed a long reign without much competition, and we are anxious to see how they respond to their new rival – and the exciting innovations in search that emerge as a result.