Bing – Microsoft’s search engine

Microsoft Bing is a search engine operated by Microsoft that has been available since 2012 and is linked to numerous services from the manufacturer. Although Bing has a much smaller reach than its main competitor Google, the range from Microsoft is still relevant for search engine optimization and online marketing in general.

The Bing features at a glance

Bing is based on the portfolio of other search engine operators. Searchers can search the Internet with their queries for web results from websites, but the program also includes images, videos, messages or maps. The own map service Maps works similarly to the competitor from Google and can also calculate routes, display different views and much more. The search engine is available on all device forms and classes.

Integration with Cortana

Microsoft’s own voice service Cortana, which is also integrated in Windows 10, for example, uses Bing to provide results. If you ask Cortana something, you get answers that are forwarded by the search engine. This also works when it comes to more complex queries – such as calculating a route from A to B. Compared to Alexa or Siri, however, Cortana plays a far less important role.

Bing: Importance in Germany as a search engine

Germany is extremely firmly in the hands of Google. A few numbers support the importance of this search engine compared to Bing:

In September 2020, 86.03% of all search queries via Google took place on the desktop (PCs and notebooks). Bing accounted for 9.72%.

In the mobile search (smartphones), Google secures 97.60% of all inquiries, only 0.62% are left for the Microsoft search engine.

This large discrepancy can be explained by the integration into the operating systems used. On most Android devices – i.e. smartphones – Google is the preset standard search engine in the Chrome browser, which is mostly used there. Windows PCs and notebooks, on the other hand, include Microsoft Edge as a browser, where Bing is the default search engine.

Since many users do not change their attitude towards the search engine, these big differences arise. The market power of Google can also be explained by the fact that many websites popular in Germany (such as GMX or T-Online) also use Google to search their own websites.

Importance in the USA

According to theinternetfaqs, Bing is a little more successful in the home country of the search engine: In January 2021 it was 12.22% for Bing and 80.24% for Google. In addition, the traffic from Yahoo is also included in Microsoft’s results, as Yahoo now uses Microsoft’s solution as a search engine. This additional 4.27% raise the market share to 16.49%. The difference to Germany can possibly be explained by more aggressive marketing and some functions that so far only existed in the USA. Microsoft repeatedly uses the offer in its own country to first roll out new features there and only activate them later in the rest of the world.

SEO for Bing: can it be harmful?

In terms of functionality, Microsoft’s search engine is hardly inferior to its biggest competitor. The SERPs, for example, only differ in their details. People who have never been in contact with the Microsoft search engine will find their way around immediately. The snippets are also very similar and do not lack any features.

It still doesn’t matter whether a website is optimized and for which search engine. Webmasters who make Bing-specific optimizations are not “penalized” by Google. There is no competition between the two companies in this regard. So it’s always a good idea to tackle SEO for Bing as well.

Better traffic through Bing?

In 2014, Matthew Woodward stated on his website that visits to Bing can be qualitative. In this test it was found that website visitors who come through Microsoft have lower bounce rates. They also stay longer on a website, on average, subscribe to e-mail newsletters and click on affiliate links more often.

From the point of view of website operators, this can be advantageous. Rigorous optimization to meet the needs of searchers using Bing might make sense. This would be a good idea above all if the searchers mostly work on a PC or notebook – since the Microsoft search engine is much more common there than it is on mobile devices.

Opportunities from Using Bing SEO

An important fact benefits the optimization on Microsoft’s search engine. Most privately operating webmasters, but also professional agencies, orient themselves towards the market leader. This is unreserved and will continue to Google for years to come. An SEO will inevitably always consider the industry focus first. Website operators will therefore grapple with the intricacies of optimization on Google. Bing is often left out of these considerations or is neglected.

This brings some chances:

The competition for particularly coveted keywords is much less staggered on Bing.
Optimization can usually be done with less effort, which saves costs for companies.
The differences to Google SEO are small, so that not much time is required.

SEO, which is specially designed for keywords in Microsoft’s offering, has a much faster chance of success. Keywords in particular, for which website operators have little or no chance on Google, could be optimized with less effort on Bing. Smaller businesses can, under the right circumstances, fill a niche here that is no longer available on Google.

Specific ranking factors at Bing

To a large extent, the factors that are important for optimization are similar to those of Google. The following points are relevant:

Credibility and quality
If the authors or the website are known, this increases the ranking. For example, articles that are cross-referenced are weighted more heavily than pure text desert without reference to internal or external sources. The quality of the language used also influences this ranking factor.

If the statements in the displayed article match the searched keyword, this improves the ranking. Synonyms and language that is otherwise equivalent to the term searched for are rated positively.

German searchers will mostly click on results in German. The same applies to all other countries in the world. Not only the language of the content, but also the server location or the country code are included in the ranking.

Loading time
Longer loading times lead to more bounce rates and dissatisfied users. Bing checks how much time it takes to load the page and includes this time in the evaluation of the website. It is therefore of interest to make websites lean and as free of plug-ins as possible. Google has been doing this for a long time as well.

If searchers stay longer on a website, this is an indicator of quality for Microsoft’s search engine. Therefore, websites with a higher level of interaction are rated slightly better by users.

New information is always better than data from ten years ago. Because of this, web pages that relate to current events also get a better search engine rating. It is therefore becoming increasingly difficult to find outdated travel blogs on the Internet, for example.

As a rule, website operators have to make little or no changes to their previous SEO behavior in order to take Microsoft’s offer into account.

What is Bing