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
Traffic Quality Center
News at Bing News
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’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.
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.
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:
“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:
For example if I look for “Bank of America”, I have the possibility to click on “Login” button.
For Fedex (Courier), Bing offers me the possibility to look at their locations or contact them.
If I search “Hyatt”, I have the ability to access their locations.
For “Joe’s crab shack” restaurant, you can directly have a look at the menu or the location.
- Rental cars
If you look for “Avis”, Bing suggests you 3 choices : “Rent a car”, “Locations”, and “Contact us”.
- Software download
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.
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.
Microsoft and Alibaba testing Etao search engine
Winhi.net, Microsoft’s new partner in China
The one-year strategic agreement makes Winhi.net Bing's exclusive agency in Guangdong.
Microsoft clearly wants to take avantage of Winhi.net's experience in the Chinese eCommerce and online promotion fields. It is important to note that Winhi.net has over 30,000 quality SMS enterprise clients.
Microsoft wants to boost Bing’s market share 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.
Microsoft adCenter targets Chinese exporters
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.
Google vs. Microsoft, battle of China
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 google.cn, redirecting mainland users to its unfiltered site in Hong Kong.
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.
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 wants to boost Bing market share in China
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.
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 shares. Sogou means "Search Dog" in Chinese.
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, 163.com, and lets users search for web pages, images, news, music, blogs, etc. Youdao roughly translates as “there's a way”.
Google to power Yahoo! Japan for search and ads
Yahoo! Japan is Japan’s biggest site
Yahoo! Japan is Japan’s leading search engine and the country’s biggest website.
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 (%)|
|Microsoft Sites (Bing - MSN - Windows Live Search)||4,094||3.1|
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 (%)|
|Microsoft Sites (Bing - MSN - Windows Live Search)||1,188||5.9|
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 (%)|
|Microsoft Sites (Bing - MSN - Windows Live Search)||469||1.9|
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 (%)|
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 (%)|
|Microsoft Sites (Bing - MSN - Windows Live Search)||113||1.7|
Search engine market share - South Korea
In April 2009, 3.4 billion searches were conducted in South Korea. NHN Corporation, which includes Naver.com, 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 (%)|
If you have more up-to-date data about search engine market share, notably in Asian countries, feel free to share it with us.