When Bing is More Important than Google

Sure, Google may account for 70% of all search traffic, but that doesn’t mean it’s that high for your client and their target market. There are times when the search engine of choice for your customers will be Bing.

A client asked if it would be worth investing time and focusing efforts on increasing their Bing search results. After a little time in Analytics, I thought the answer was, without a doubt, YES!



Why?



The target demographic for this client was older people, 45 years of age and above. Based on ComScore’s survey from 2007, older demographics tend to use Internet Explorer. We decided to look at the analytics and see what we could find.



After looking at Analytics, we saw that a majority of their site’s visitors (over 58%) used Internet Explorer.

Analytics of Site visitors browser usage.

Internet Explorer’s default search bar obviously employs Bing

The question is, does their organic traffic line up as well? 



The combined traffic from Yahoo and Bing is 8438. That is roughly 36% of the organic traffic to the site which is a little higher than average.

However, when we look at the organic rankings of this client, we can see that the average rankings for Bing are a lot lower than the average in Google.

Out of the 36 targeted keywords for this site, the average ranking in Google is position 11. In Bing the average position of the targeted keywords is 29. How much more traffic could the site receive by focusing a little more effort on the Bing side of search?

The trends:



After looking at other clients who target older demographics I found this trend was fairly consistent. 50-60% of their traffic used Internet Explorer. Yahoo and Bing organic traffic accounted for as much as 55% of their organic traffic, and Bing rankings were, on average, 20 positions behind.



Though Google may be our focus for a majority of our work, there are times, and clients that need to have Bing as a more central part of their SEO strategy.

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19 Comments

  1. Scott Cowley says

    This is a fantastic analysis, Dave. It would be great for every agency to do an inventory of their clients and see how many of them fit a different search engine profile. We give too much credit to Google by forgetting the huge leverage that Microsoft has with Windows defaults like IE and Bing.

  2. jason says

    whats the point of this article, alll you talk about is get more traffic from bing, how do you get more traffic from bing? target bing? you cant…
    when you spam links all search engines pick them up..

    • David Malmborg says

      Jason, Thanks for the comment.

      In a nutshell, this post is simply here to say that there are times when you want to focus on your rankings in Bing.

      To say you can't target Bing in an SEO campaign is not true. Spam links aren't the answer for any SE. But the algo for Bing is fundamentally different than Google, and if you understand what makes Bing tick, you can see big increases in your Bing ranking results. 

      If you don't know the difference between Bing and Google, then this should be a call to action in learning what the difference is.

  3. Aaron Bradley says

    I applaud your analysis, David – yes, sometimes Bing is overlooked, and sometimes some resources should be committed specifically to optimizing for Bing (though, in my experience, even the most seasoned SEOs are hard-pressed to name specific tactics or strategies that fall into the category of "optimizing for Bing").
    However, I can't help but pointing out that the return on Bing optimization is largely limited to US-facing sites, or to sites where US traffic is an important consideration.  It's only in the US that one can say "Google may account for 70% of all search traffic."  In the UK, for example, Google traffic is well over 90%.

  4. Rajesh says

    Oh…Greaat post.
    Looks like you are the real SEO geek who is mostly loves to tracking, monitoring such smallest but effective inforatmion form time to time. 
    great analysis I love that!
    Thanks. 

  5. Antony says

    I'm kinda with Jason on this one. Not really sure this article helps in any way. We see users using IE in analytics and yes Bing ranks lower – but in reality surely we should be saying a) make sure you test your site in IE b) still focus on Google as 70% is bigger than 38% or 55%. Google is still THE search engine.
    There are key obvious differences between the two. 1) The URL you use to access them, 2) the owner and 3) the name. Ok that was cheeky :)

    • David Malmborg says

      Antony, Thanks for commenting. Cheek is 100% allowed. ;-)

      I’m not saying to ignore Google, but under the right circumstances, Bing may be worthy of your attention.

  6. Tom says

    sometimes bing & yahoo converted better for me than traffic from google. Google searchers were more information searchers and B&Y focused more on the purchase. But this may differ from niche to niche.
    What I find difficult to do is get my (new) sites crawled by Bing even though I set them up in Bing Webmaster Tools. Bing is lacking the crawling speed when compared to Google. Submitting a xml sitemap or a feed is easy, but getting it fully crawled needs a lot of luck (or am I missing something?).

    • David Malmborg says

      No, you are in same boat as everyone else. The one important thing to remember is that Bing wants a clean XML sitemap. If it has a lot of problems they’ll ignore it. You can check out my post here on Clean XML sitemaps:

      http://www.seo.com/blog/1-easy-audit-xml-sitemap/

      I’ve seen in huge increase in indexation and Bing rankings after going through this process.

  7. Albert says

    Seo is important because you want to get the most people on your site. Without traffic you don’t make sales and you end up out of business. Also everything takes long hours and a lot of work.

  8. Michael David says

    As you said Google account for 70% of all search traffic, that’s because of Google popularity and its services. If Bing is used wisely on the behalf of Internet Explorer then it doesn’t mean that Bing is also proving better & more relevant search results. So I think it is only a factor. Because if Bing is also in market then surely people will also use its services.

  9. CharlesDaniels says

    I’ve also found that it is much easier to rank high in Bing quickly for local SEO than it is over at Google. If you’re working on a new business make sure they do the mail registration through Bing for your local SEO. We’ve had sites hit the top of the Bing results in a week for their city/state/keyword search queries. Good luck with that in Google.

  10. Amber M. says

    Wow! I had no idea the numbers for Bing were anything even worth considering. Now I’ll think twice before ignoring that side of the numbers game. Thanks for the info.

  11. David Malmborg says

    You might be right. I’m meeting a guy from Bing tonight. I’ll try to get some specifics, and open up my own ideas in a new blog post.

  12. Darren says

    Interesting post. I am been guilty of only ever considering Google when looking at ways to promote my website and I am sure I am not alone.

    Thank You!

  13. Philip Featherstone says

    I agree with Darren I have only ever considered Google but after reading your article but you’ve opened my mind to looking into different search engines to promote my website and thank you for great article and for sharing

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