Bing has unveiled plans to try to redress the imbalance in the search engine market. It has announced what it refers to as its ‘year of innovation’: a series of improvements to the search alliance with Yahoo which it hopes might go some way to counteracting the global dominance of Google in the search world.
Bing’s UK Head of Search, Alex Payne, announced these changes and re-iterated the company’s pledge to try to close the gap on market leaders Google. Currently Google accounts for just over 66% of the US search market and 89.1% of the UK. The challenge is unquestionably a daunting one, and Payne is under no illusion when it comes to the scale of the challenges ahead.
“While I’d love to overtake Google in 2011, that’s not a goal we can yet achieve. But increasingly you’ll see the search engine market becoming a clear two horse race.”
Bing hopes to close some of this gap organically and have announced a number of measures which might go some way to achieving this. It has already launched its combined TV/web campaign staring Channel 4 Facejacker star, Kayvan Novak, to promote the Bing/Yahoo alliance and try to secure a greater market share in the UK market where it is so markedly under-represented.
The company is also planning to add new features to its mobile and social search sectors. This is a natural progression of the innovation that saw Bing partner with Facebook last year, bringing new information about friends, likes and profiles into the mix. It is hoping to to add similar products to its local search services soon with the emphasis being squarely on ‘localisation’, an area where it suspects it might have a slight edge on Google.
Where the Bing/Yahoo alliance does score highly is with marketers, as it’s possible to advertise simultaneously on both sites through one single platform, Microsoft’s AdCentre. The major advantage this platform has over Google is its ability to allow targeted marketing by demographic, be that age or gender.
A lot of work will need to be done to make even an indentation on Google’s UK market dominance, let alone completely redressing the imbalance.