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Bing Launches new Features including Ads Traffic Quality


Bing is moving and shaking these days as it finally launches its latest version that now features a traffic Quality Center along with News Carousels and a Sitemap plugin. 


Bing adds Sitemap

Bing, the forever second best search engine the world has to offer (that's still up for debate) is now offering an XML Sitemap Plugin 1.0 which will produce sitemaps that function with Apache HTTP servers, so GET EXCITED!
This new open source feature will function with Google and Bing whenever these sitemaps are updated. 
It is available from Microsoft Download Center and from Bing XML Sitemap page. 

Traffic Quality Center

The goal of this new Traffic Quality Center from Bing is to ensure users and advertisers know exactly where their advertisements are and how they are being protected from fraud and other attacks.
This new feature will also help consumers understand adjustments in prices and how are handled ad credits. 
The last few years have seen an increase in the different options available for advertisers on Bing platforms and this is why we can now know where our Bing ads appear. 

Advertiser Resources

This nouveauté as the good French would say is actually just a wealth of resources for those in need. This includes top tips on how to block IP addresses and websites from seeing your advertisements. 

News at Bing News

This is a big event for the 14 people around the world who use Bing News: there is now a visual carousel of stories when one searches for a topic in the Bing news category. This is akin to what Youtube offers at the end of a video, but you know, moving.

Google vs. Bing CTR


A recent study by Slingshot SEO agency, shows the differences in terms of click-through-rates (CTRs) in the search results pages of the two main search engines in the US, namely Google and Bing.

Google’s CTR

Google’s 1st organic search result has an average CTR of 18.2%, that is to say that almost 1 out 5 user clicks on this 1st result. It is 4 times higher than CTR of the 4th search result on the page.

Overall, more than half of Google's users click on one of the 10 first search results (52.3%).

Google CTR

Google’s CTR Curve

Bing’s CTR is twice lower than Google’s

Bing’s CTR curve follows a similar trend as Google’s, but Microsoft’s search engine click-through-rate on the 1st search result is almost twice lower than Google’s. 

Overall, only 1 out of 4 Bing’s users click on one of the 10 first search results.

Slingshot suggests that this gap may come from the fact that Bing's users more often use “associated search” or search image, video or news.

Google Bing CTRs

CTRs between Google and Bing

The study was conducted by analyzing user behavior of  170,000 visitors and 624 keywords during the first eight months of 2011.

Additional interesting fact: every month approximately 117 million searches are done for the keyword “google” in Microsoft’s search engine. It seems like Bing users may trust Google SERPs more than Bing. 

You can have a look at the full study here. On the same subject, please read our previous article about CTR of standard banners

Bing Unveils Action Buttons on Search Results


Bing recently introduced a new feature for its search engine, namely action buttons that help people get what they want faster.

Bing introduces new action buttons

Now Bing displays buttons for top actions on websites, so you can directly access the page and complete the task you look for.

Bing analyzes users' behavior, that is to say it determines how people search, and especially, what they want to do on the websites they visit.

For instance, if you search “american airlines”, you will see 3 buttons on the right of your search results as shown below:

American Airlines Bing

“Check-in”, “Flight status” and “Book a flight” are thus the three actions displayed by Bing.

Note that Bing also offers an inserted form result to search flights.

Action buttons vs. deep links

Search engines also use deep links to help users easily find what they look for. Deep links are displayed below search result and allow users to directly access popular pages within a given site without having to go through homepage.

In our previous example, deep links include “Log in”, “Book travel”, “AAdvantage”, etc.

In some cases, action buttons and deep links are the same. In others, actions buttons are completely new links.

While deep links refer more to other pages, action buttons are really about tasks users want to accomplish. 

Moreover, contrary to little deep links, action buttons may be more appealing for users. The size of buttons, as well as their position, makes them easier for users to notice and click.

Bing to introduce more options

Action buttons only concern 7 searched categories for the moment: airlines, banks, couriers, hotels, restaurants, rental cars, and software download.

Here are a few examples:

- Banks

Bank Of America Bing

For example if I look for “Bank of America”, I have the possibility to click on “Login” button.

- Couriers

Fedex Bing

For Fedex (Courier), Bing offers me the possibility to look at their locations or contact them.

- Hotels

Hyatt Bing

If I search “Hyatt”, I have the ability to access their locations.

- Restaurants

Joe's Crab Shack Restaurant

For “Joe’s crab shack” restaurant, you can directly have a look at the menu or the location.

- Rental cars

Avis Bing

If you look for “Avis”, Bing suggests you 3 choices : “Rent a car”, “Locations”, and “Contact us”.

- Software download

VLC Bing

Last example, f I want to download software, such as VLC, I can directly access the “Download” page.

We will undoubtedly see more actions to come. For example, for hotels, I am sure tasks such as “book a night” will be available in the future. For searches related to restaurants, it would be great to see “book a table” too.

Bing does not have a choice 

After teaming up with Yahoo! on search, Bing is doomed to innovate if it wants to compete with Google. Bing has been making a lot of progress these past few years in order to enhance search results, and I think those buttons are really an interesting move.

Even if there is still a lot to do in other categories and other countries (action buttons are only available in the US for now), it clearly highlights Bing’s willingness to improve user’s experience by providing users with what they look for as simply and quickly as possible.

If you want to read more about search engine optimization for Bing, please read our previous post on how to optimize your website for Bing.

Baidu Chooses Bing for English Search Results

Bing and Baidu team up in China

Chinese search engine Baidu announced a few weeks ago that it signed an agreement with Microsoft Bing.

Baidu-Bing deal

According to the partnership between the two companies, Bing will provide English search results for Baidu.

The terms of the agreement between Baidu and Bing were not disclosed. However, the cooperation will likely work similarly to the Bing-Yahoo agreement signed last year where both companies share the revenues from search engine ads.

Most Chinese Internet users agree to say that Google’s English-language search results are currently more accurate than Baidu. Yet, Baidu service will likely be improved by the partnership with Microsoft.

More than 10 million search queries (in English) are made on Baidu every day, most of them coming from professionals and students. However, this number is not so high compared to the 477 million users claimed by Baidu

Baidu and Bing will help each other 

It has actually been more than a year that Microsoft has searched a search engine partner in China.

Baidu seems the best choice as it is the uncontested search engine leader in China (see search engine market share in China). 

Since Google decided to redirect its mainland users to Google Hong Kong, Microsoft has been trying to develop Bing’s market share in China. Until now, one cannot say that it was very successful since Google still detains 11% of market share and Bing only 1%.

Due to the size of China’s Internet market (more than 485 million Chinese netizens in June 2011 according to CNNIC), every search engine strives to get a slice of the cake. In addition to Baidu, Google and Bing, main competitors include Soso and Sogou.

At the same time, the Baidu-Bing deal is also a good opportunity for Baidu to team up with a multinational company that can help it in an international development. Indeed, the Chinese firm has never hidden its willingness to expand abroad.

While waiting for the Baidu-Bing service to go live (end of this year), this piece of news is a good opportunity for you to check your SEO for Baidu and your SEO for Bing.

Microsoft Joins Alibaba to Test New Search Service


Microsoft and Alibaba testing Etao search engine

As we wrote in one of our previous posts, China's giant eCommerce site Alibaba recently launched a new beta shopping search engine, named Etao

Microsoft takes part in the test since Etao site combines both Alibaba's shopping search engine and a Chinese version of Bing.

Search results are displayed in several groups : first, Taobao listings, then links to related online forums, and finally informational websites and web search results provided by Bing., Microsoft’s new partner in China

Microsoft also recently announced that it teamed up with Shenzhen-based web-hosting and eCommerce site to jointly promote Bing in China.

The one-year strategic agreement makes Bing's exclusive agency in Guangdong.

Microsoft clearly wants to take avantage of's experience in the Chinese eCommerce and online promotion fields. It is important to note that has over 30,000 quality SMS enterprise clients.

Microsoft wants to boost Bing’s market share in China

Even if Baidu outclasses China's search market with a 70% market share, there are some shares to grab for other search engines, notably after Google’s episodes in China.

Indeed, the US search engine's market share fell from 31% in Q1 to 24% in Q2 according to Beijing-based market research firm Analysys International. China’s overall search engine market reached approximately CNY 4.6 billion. 

Bing has currently only 2.4% of the market. Will Microsoft’s partnerships with Chinese firms be enough to boost Bing’s market share in China ?

MSN Launches Advertising Platform in China


The Microsoft Network (MSN) has launched its advertising platform adCenter in China.

Microsoft adCenter targets Chinese exporters

The US Internet giant says it wants to target Chinese exporters willing to advertise overseas. Microsoft adCenter helps businesses advertise online such as on Microsoft's Bing search engine.

The service will earn profits via selling English key words to Chinese companies. These key words, once purchased, appear on search results of Bing, MSN's portal websites, Wall Street Journal, and some famous social networking sites (SNS) like Facebook.

Currently, Microsoft adCenter operates in the US, Canada, UK, France, and Singapore. Microsoft hopes revenue from the pay-per-click ads will account for half of MSN China's business in the future.

Google vs. Microsoft, battle of China

By launching adCenter in ChinaMicrosoft clearly wants to grab market share from rival Google.

In January, Google said it would not filter its content according to Chinese regulation, and threatened to pull out of the country. It later shut down its Chinese site, redirecting  mainland users to its unfiltered site in Hong Kong.

In July, following its standoff with Beijing over filtering search results, Google cut ties with two major Chinese advertising agencies, namely Universal Internet Media and Xi'an Weihua Network.

Google's advertising platform AdWords accounts for about 20% of China's online market. Contrary to Baidu which dominates the market, Bing has a tiny market share, that is why Microsoft looks for a search engine partner in China.

Bing Searches for a Partner in China


As part of its expansion plans, Microsoft is searching for a Chinese partner to boost its Bing market share in China's Internet search market.

A Chinese search partner for Bing?

According to its chief executive for Greater China Simon Leung, the computer giant aims to grow its presence in the country and invest over 100 million dollars into Chinese companies.

Microsoft did not disclose any names of companies the firm was interested in teaming up with. Neverthess, analystis say that Microsoft will likely partner with a domestic search company.

Sohu which develops Sogou search engine, Tencent (Soso) and NetEase (Youdao) appear as possible candidates.

Microsoft wants to boost Bing market share in China

Microsoft clearly wants to boost its weak Bing market share. Bing currently controls only a few percents of the country’s search market.

Contrary to Baidu which dominates China’s search market with a market share over 70%, Bing did not benefit from Google’s Hong Kong move. Google now owns around 21% of the market. Recently, Chinese Internet giant Alibaba invested in Sogou search engine.

Microsoft has already invested around 40 million dollars in domestic firms since 2006. In addition to its search engine ambitions, it also plans on investing in companies in the gaming, cloud computing and software sector.

List of search engines in China



Here is a list of popular search engines in China:

Baidu logo

Baidu is by far the leading Chinese search engine for websites, audio files and images. It was established in 2000 by co-founders, Robin Li and Eric Xu.

Google China logo

Founded in 2005, Google China ranks as the No. 2 search engine in China. In March 2010, it decided to redirect all queries from Chinese users to Google Hong Kong.

Sogou logo

Sogou is a search engine which can search text, images, music, and maps. Launched in 2004, it is owned by China's No. 2 Internet portal Sohu but Alibaba Group is going to buy sharesSogou means "Search Dog" in Chinese.

Soso logo

Soso is a Chinese search engine owned by Tencent which is well known for its IM QQ.

Yahoo! China logo

China Yahoo! is one of the leading Chinese-language portals offering search, email and an enhanced focus on entertainment content. Alibaba Group acquired China Yahoo! in 2005.

Bing China logo

Bing is Microsoft's search engineBing's official Chinese name is "bì yìng" which literally means "very certain to respond" or "very certain to answer".

Youdao logo

Youdao is a search engine released by Chinese Internet company NetEase in 2007. It is the featured search engine of its parent company's web portal,, and lets users search for web pages, images, news, music, blogs, etc. Youdao roughly translates as “there's a way”.

Do you know other search engines used in China?

Yahoo Japan chooses Google as search partner


Yahoo! Japan announced its intention to team up with Google for search and ads.

Google to power Yahoo! Japan for search and ads

This news can seem surprising since Microsoft and Yahoo! created a Search Alliance. Yahoo! won’t therefore use Microsoft’s search engine Bing which however recently released a Japanese beta version.

Currently powered by Yahoo! US, Yahoo! Japan search engine will be powered by Google. Before going for Yahoo! Search Technology , Yahoo! Japan actually already used Google’s search engine from 2001 to 2004.
Under the agreement, Google will provide users with both algorithmic and paid search results. Yahoo! Japan didn’t disclose the date when the partnership will be effective. 

Yahoo! Japan is Japan’s biggest site

Yahoo! Japan is Japan’s leading search engine and the country’s biggest website.

According to market research company NetRatings  (Nielsen Online Japan), around 2.5 billion search queries were conducted on Yahoo! Japan latest June (51% of market share), far ahead of Google’s 1.6 billion and Bing’s 144 million search queries. The total amount of search queries from Japanese home and office computers reached 4.9 billion.
Yahoo! in the US actually owns only a share of around 35% in Yahoo! Japan while the majority owner is Tokyo-based telecommunications and media giant SoftBank with a share of 40%.

Search engine market share by country


This post contains market shares for search engines in the world and several countries including the US, China, Japan and South-Korea. Data provided by comScore is based on “expanded search” definition, which includes searches not only conducted on the core search engines.


Search engine market share - worldwide

Google Sites ranked as the top search site worldwide with 87.8 billion searches in December 2009, or almost 67 percent of the global search market. Yahoo! Sites ranked second globally with 9.4 billion searches, followed by Chinese search engine Baidu with 8.5 billion searches.

Microsoft Sites reached 4.1 billion searches, on the strength of its successful introduction of new search engine Bing. Russian search engine Yandex also achieved considerable gains, growing to 1.9 billion searches.

Top 10 Expanded Search Entity by searches conducted in December 2009
Searches (MM) Market share (%)
Worldwide 131,354 100
Google Sites 87,809 66.8
Yahoo! Sites 9,444 7.2
Baidu 8,534 6.5
Microsoft Sites (Bing - MSN - Windows Live Search) 4,094 3.1
eBay 2,102 1.6
NHN Corporation 2,069 1.6
Yandex 1,892 1.4
Facebook 1,572 1.2
Ask Network 1,507 1.1
Alibaba 1,102 0.9
Other 11,229 8.6


Search engine market share - US

In January 2009, Google Sites led with 11.7 billion searches, representing almost 59 percent of the US search market. Yahoo! Sites ranked second with nearly 3 billion searches, followed by Microsoft Sites (1.2 billion) and AOL (781 million).

Top Expanded Search Entity by searches conducted in January 2009 Searches (MM) Market share (%)
United States 19,979 100
Google Sites 11,714 58.6
Yahoo! Sites 2,979 14.9
Microsoft Sites (Bing - MSN - Windows Live Search) 1,188 5.9
AOL 781 3.9
Ask Network 645 3.2
Other 2,672 13.5


Search engine market share - Europe

In March 2008, Europeans conducted almost 25 billion searches. Google Sites holds the leading position with more than 19 billion searches conducted, representing 79 percent of the European search market. Google’s top position was followed by eBay, which accounted for 3.1 percent of European searches. Russian search portal Yandex ranked third with 2.2 percent search market share, slightly ahead of Yahoo! Sites at 2.0 percent and Microsoft Sites at 1.9 percent.

Top Expanded Search Entity by searches conducted in March 2008 Searches (MM) Market share (%)
Europe 24,550 100
Google Sites 19,434 79.2
eBay 752 3.1
Yandex 528 2.2
Yahoo! Sites 486 2.0
Microsoft Sites (Bing - MSN - Windows Live Search) 469 1.9
Nasza-Klasa 320 1.3
QXL ricardo 298 1.2
Other 2163 8.8


Search engine market share - China

The Chinese conducted almost 11 billion searches in July 2008. The leader of the market is the Chinese search engine Baidu, far ahead of Google (see our recent article showing that Google's loss is Baidu's gain in China). Other players such as Soso and Sogou try to gain market share but aren't very successful. 

Top Expanded Search Entity by searches conducted in July 2008 Searches (MM) Market share (%)
China 10,994 100
Baidu 7,406 67.4
Google Sites 1,825 16.1
Alibaba 823 7.5
Tencent (Soso) 513 4.7
Sohu (Sogou) 305 2.8
Other 165 1.5


Search engine market share - Japan

Yahoo! Sites led the search ranking in Japan with 3.5 billion searches in January 2009, followed by Google Sites with 2.6 billion searches and Rakuten with 153 million searches.

Top Expanded Search Entity by searches conducted in January 2009 Searches (MM) Market share (%)
Japan 6,795 100
Yahoo! Sites 3,489 51.3
Google Sites 2,596 38.2
Rakuten 153 2.3
Microsoft Sites (Bing - MSN - Windows Live Search) 113 1.7
NTT 103 1.5
Other 341 5.0


Search engine market share - South Korea

In April 2009, 3.4 billion searches were conducted in South Korea. NHN Corporation, which includes, led the search market with 2.1 billion searches conducted on its sites (62 percent search market share), followed by Daum with 680 million searches (20 percent) and Google Sites with 251 million searches (7 percent).

Top Expanded Search Entity by searches conducted in April 2009 Searches (MM) Market share (%)
South Korea 3,449 100
NHN (Naver) 2,135 61.9
Daum 680 19.7
Google Sites 251 7.2
Yahoo! Sites 140 4.1
SK 132 3.8
Other 111 3.1

If you have more up-to-date data about search engine market share, notably in Asian countries, feel free to share it with us.