It’s hard to be a blogger and not comment on the most
momentous release of the year, if not the past few years.
With all the hoohah surrounding the launch of Bing,
Microsoft’s revamped search engine, I thought I would examine my response to it
in each of my roles as consumer, marketer and conversion optimization specialist.
As a consumer, my instant reaction to Bing was, “meh”.
Genuine indifference. I remember switching from AltaVista to Google back in the
late 90s and telling some of my friends about it. I was using Yahoo! as my home
page and Google as my search engine of choice for a while before I switched and
started using Google as my homepage. These days the Google toolbar means I don’t
need my browser to start there so I tend to begin with Wikipedia as a kicking
off point, at least when I’m surfing from home.
Would I switch to Bing as my search engine of choice? My
answer to that is a definite “maybe”. The point being that, as a consumer, it
doesn’t matter all that much who provides my search results as long as they’re
no worse that the results I’m already getting. I don’t really know of anything
I’m missing, that could make them better. They may try to sell Bing as having
better results, but I’m pretty satisfied with my results as they are and I don’t
know what I’d do with better ones.
I’ll probably go with whichever results page looks nicer. I’m
As a marketer, Bing is my worst nightmare come to life. I
don’t mean that as an attack on Microsoft, it’s just that competition creates
confusion. Until now, the majority of my traffic from search engines came from
Google. That meant I could concentrate my SEO spend in one place in order to increase
the amount of traffic from that same source. If Bing succeeds the way it would
like to, I am going to have to split my concentration across two platforms to
ensure I’m getting to all the right people. If that only meant sharing my
current budget for traffic across two vendors, I might be OK with it, but my
worry is that with different algorithms, I would need to increase my total
budget to maintain the same level of effectiveness in both Google and Bing.
Conversion Optimization Specialist
And now I’m back to “meh”. That’s right. As far as
conversion is concerned, I couldn’t care less where the traffic is coming from. I’m
much more concerned with increasing the conversion rate for site visitors
regardless of the path they took to get there. I have no way of knowing whether
the leads coming from Bing will be more likely to convert that leads coming
from Google. Until I have that statistic, I’m going to stick to the stuff I do know:
Video increases conversion. Great video greatly increases
conversion. Measuring conversion increase is increasingly important whichever
search engine your customers prefer.