When Microsoft announced strong annual financial results July 19, the growth of the company’ s cloud services dominated the conversation. But I noticed something else in the company’ s numbers: continued growth for Bing. Although Bing accounts for a small share of Microsoft’ s revenues, the search platform grew 17 percent year over year.
“ As more people used Bing, the search revenue (excluding traffic acquisition costs) also grew, so it looks like things are moving in the right direction. ”
Bing remains a distant second to Google in terms of market share, but the marketplace needs Bing to grow. A prosperous Bing gives businesses an alternative to Google and another viable platform to grow their visibility.
Bing’ s product improvements are good for brands and good for Google because healthy competition keeps everyone on their toes. Bing’ s improvements also help business owners and search marketers in their optimization efforts. Let’ s take a look at a number of Bing’ s improvements and how we can use them to promote our businesses.
Basic Bing search
On a fundamental level, Bing has enriched basic search to encourage discovery beyond top-level search results. For example, if you use your smartphone to search for “ movies” on both Bing and Google, both will show you what’ s playing where you live. But Bing also displays tabs for movies on Netflix and Amazon, thus demonstrating an awareness of how we discover movies beyond the theater.
Or a search for the musician Drake on both engines displays prominently in search results news results and video content, but there are more visible social links on Google encouraging further exploration. These differences are subtle, but they matter given how search has become more of a process of deep discovery , especially as we use our voices to do more complex searches .
Along these same lines, Bing recently enhanced search with the rollout of a search entity API , which produces a richer contextual search result.
In March, Bing announced:
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