Competition between search engines is getting more fierce by the moment. As reported by The Wall Street Journal, Google, widely recognized as the largest online search provider, has control over a whopping “82 percent of the online search market.”
While it’s true that the next best search engine (Bing) is falling at a painfully distant second place, Google has countless competitors nipping at its heels.
After algorithm updates Google released in its effort to increase the value of the search results on the engine, countless sites were affected by these changes. In fact, it was reported that these updates caused financial loss to smaller e-commerce businesses. But the tables may be turning against Google, since the race to become best search engine just got more intense.
“I like Bing because it acts a competitive counterpoint to Google and that competitiveness benefits everyone in the search industry,” Zach Ball, co-founder of link building firm Page one Power, said.
Just last week, Yelp announced that it was teaming up with Bing in an effort to tackle Google’s Zagat ratings. Competing search engines are keen to increase the pressure on the current search engine ruler, with alternatives such as Blekko, Yahoo, and others turning up the heat.
The new addition to Bing’s search engine functions much like a Facebook post… your search becomes a crowdsourced quest via your personal Facebook buddies. Users give Bing permission to their Facebook profile, select the friends they’d like to query and include a link.
For instance, I wanted to know if the new film “Prometheus” was too scary for me, so after following Bing’s easy-to-use steps, and voilà, I had posted a search to my Facebook profile with a link to the film and my comments about being a scared-y cat to my friends. They responded with, yes, yes, it’s much too scary, don’t go see it…and here’s the clincher, Bing’s new search made that most automatonic, robotic of web platforms…web search into something fun.
While Bing’s newest social media feature may not kick it to the top of the search engine pack, by adding a pro-social friend feature it does do something that no other search engine has done before. Google Plus, although arguably slick and useful, can’t claim to be fun. In contrast to some of Google’s admonitions to SEO providers, Bing has also said that it thinks SEO (search engine optimization) is “fundamentally about creating websites that are good for people” and that it “looks forward to “partnering” with people who use SEO on Bing to promote websites.
For its part, Bing’s vice presidents Derrick Connell and Harry Shum said that, “The search industry was built on keywords, links and labels – static nouns pointing to pages. This approach is great for finding sites but search is about more than simply finding information, it’s also about taking action. Whether it’s booking a flight, reading an article or buying a new pair of shoes, 68% of people tell us they expect to get something done when they type into a search box.”
They went on to say that, “The fact is, search hasn’t kept pace. People have become as important as pages and search needs to evolve to embrace these changes. The challenge has been to figure out how to integrate the information you care about with the people who can be most helpful to you in getting stuff done.”
You can watch a video about the new search feature from Bing below or try it out for yourself here.